Dr. Anthony Fauci Retiring With Large Annuity, Still Facing Criticism Over Performance at NIAID

Dr. Anthony Fauci previously announced his retirement by the end of December. He will retire with a substantial net worth, a large retirement package, and facing more criticism over his tenure as a federal employee.

Fauci Announced Retirement by End of December

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal employee of the year in 2020, was retiring as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases by the end of December. The agency has not yet confirmed his retirement. In an announcement issued on August 22nd, he said in a press release, “I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career.” 

At the time of this writing, the agency’s website still listed Fauci as the director of the agency.

Fauci was appointed Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1984. He oversees an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis, and malaria as well as emerging diseases such as Ebola and Zika. 

In 2020, Anthony Fauci was named “Federal Employee of the Year”. At that time, Partnership for Public Service President and CEO Max Stier said, “Dr. Fauci has become a household name for his steady hand and unwavering commitment to his country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Fauci represents the very best of public service, and it is an honor to award him the 2020 Federal Employee of the Year. We thank him for his dedication and for inspiring the next generation of public servants.”

Perhaps that was the high point for his reputation and in his career.

Fauci Has Largest Federal Retirement in History and Net Worth of $10 Million

Since that time, he has become the subject of criticism and a well-known American figure who has given more than 1,000 interviews to various news outlets about COVID-19 and the trajectory of the pandemic. He has often been criticized for his generally negative predictions and changing stances on lockdowns, vaccines, and wearing of masks in different scenarios.

Dr. Fauci is the nation’s top infectious disease expert and chief medical advisor to the president. As director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he was the highest-paid public servant in the country. His salary was $434,312 in 2020 and $456,028 in 2021. Dr. Fauci outearned the president, four-star generals, and all 4.3 million of his colleagues.

When Dr. Fauci retires, he’ll collect a more than $355,000 annual retirement package – the largest federal pension in history.

After a tense confrontation in testifying before Congress, and calling Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) a “moron”, his financial records were released. During the hearing, Marshall asked him about his annual salary and financial disclosures, Fauci appeared incredulous at the questions from Marshall and at the inability of Marshall’s staff members to track down the financial information. According to Dr. Fauci, “I don’t understand why you’re asking me that question. My financial disclosure is public knowledge and has been so for the last 37 years or so.”

The Senator noted that his staff spent weeks trying to track down the financial records and had requested the information from the National Institutes of Health and Dr. Fauci’s staff.

The records that were released showed that Dr. Fauci, as the highest-paid federal employee in the government, and his wife, the top bioethicist at the National Institutes of Health, had a combined worth of $10.4 million. 

Fauci Responds to Criticism

In a recent interview with the Guardian newspaper, Fauci said in response to criticism of his performance during the pandemic regarding closures and lockdowns: “The only thing I can say is that we tried our best given our best judgment and our analysis of what was going on around us to make recommendations.”

Twitter Dump and Dr. Fauci

While he may be retiring and ending his career as a federal employee, the criticism and controversy over his tenure are not coming to an end.

Elon Musk is commenting on the release of Twitter files related to Fauci this week, as part of what Musk calls the “Fauci Files”.

The “Twitter Files” is a series of releases by reporters regarding recent controversies, including Twitter’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump from tweeting after the Capital “invasion” in January 2021.

Elon Musk has become a severe critic of Fauci’s decisions and actions at NIAID. According to the Daily Mail: “Sunday wasn’t the first time that Musk has attacked the 82-year-old Fauci – he has been angry with his approach for most of the pandemic. Musk linked to a Newsweek article titled ‘Fauci Was ‘Untruthful’ to Congress About Wuhan Lab Research, New Documents Appear to Show.'”

According to the Newsweek article, “documents show ‘unequivocally’ that NIH grants were used to fund controversial gain-of-function (GOF) research at the Wuhan Insitute of Virology in China—something U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has denied.

And, in comments on the same topic, Senator Rand Paul stated in December, “We’re not done with him yet. I think Dr. Fauci actually made one of the worst judgments in modern medical history by funding for over a decade of dangerous gain-of-function research, which many of us believe leaked from the lab, inadvertently.”

So, while he is retiring, it appears that Dr. Fauci will be making more news in the near future.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47