Legislation Would Abolish NIAID and Fauci’s Former Position

Dr. Anthony Fauci has retired but is still making the news. New proposed legislation would eliminate his former position at NIAID and restructure the agency.

Dr. Anthony Fauci Retired Late in 2022—Highest Paid Federal Employee and Former Federal Employee of the Year

Dr. Anthony Fauci retired late in 2022. He was the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Chief Medical Advisor to the President. He was recognized as the highest-paid federal employee in the federal government, including the President of the United States. His retirement annuity may be the largest federal employee retirement annuity in history.

Federal employee salaries are generally capped at level IV of the Executive Schedule, but there are exceptions. The exception exists to make federal salaries for doctors and scientists more competitive with the private sector.

News About Fauci Still Makes Headlines

While Dr. Fauci has retired from the government, he is still in the news. Being the highest-paid employee in the federal government, reportedly qualifying to receive the highest federal retirement package in U.S. history, becoming a fixture on national TV, and providing advice often associated with political controversy and one political party will easily lead to making enemies on Capitol Hill. That is now the case with Dr. Fauci, and his enemies are not shy people.

One of those enemies was Donald Trump. When referring to Fauci’s early comments on mask-wearing and shutting down travel from China as examples of bad advice, Trump said, “And yet, we keep him. Every time he goes on television, there’s always a bomb, but there’s a bigger bomb if you fire him.”

He has also been the recent subject of a documentary on PBS. It received a rating of 94% by top movie critics and a 2% rating from audience reviews. Obviously, his reputation was controversial in its final years and became very political.

One of his harshest critics was Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). In one hearing, Senator Paul said:

You appear to have learned nothing from this pandemic…What you’re doing is defining away gain-of-function…and what you’ve done is change the definition on your website to try to cover your ass, basically.
Until you accept responsibility, we’re not going to get anywhere close to trying to prevent another lab leak of this dangerous sort of experiment. You won’t admit that it’s dangerous, and for that lack of judgment, I think it’s time that you resign.

While Dr. Fauci is no longer a civil service employee, his time in office obviously still inspires strong emotions and reactions to his job performance.

Bill Would Eliminate Fauci’s Former Position

Recently introduced legislation would abolish Dr. Anthony Fauci’s former position at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) along with the entire agency. Perhaps Dr. Fauci is still very much on Senator Paul’s mind.

The NIH Reform Act has been introduced in both the House and Senate. Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX) introduced the House version (H.R. 1768) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the Senate version (S. 960).

The legislation would split NIAID into three separate national research institutes each led by Senate-confirmed directors limited to no more than two 5-year terms.

NIAID would be replaced with the following three agencies:

  • National Institute of Allergic Diseases
  • National Institute of Infectious Disease
  • National Institute of Immunologic Diseases

The directors of each new agency would be appointed by the president, subject to Senate confirmation, and term-limited to no more than two 5-year terms.

In introducing the legislation, Senator Paul stated in a press release:

We’ve learned a lot over the past few years, but one lesson in particular is that no one person should be deemed “dictator-in-chief.” No one person should have unilateral authority to make decisions for millions of Americans. To ensure that ineffective, unscientific lockdowns and mandates are never foisted on the American people ever again, I’ve introduced this bill to eliminate Dr. Anthony Fauci’s previous position as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and divide the role into three separate new institutes. This will create accountability and oversight into a taxpayer funded position that has largely abused its power and has been responsible for many failures and misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Dr. Fauci has retired from his career as a federal employee, he continues to make news and inspire legislation.

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