Anthony Fauci, born in December 24, 1940 is an American physician-scientist and immunologist who serves as the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the chief medical advisor to the president.
Fauci has served the American public health sector in various capacities for more than 50 years, and has acted as an advisor to every U.S. President since Ronald Reagan. He became director of the NIAID in 1984 and has made contributions to HIV/AIDS research and other immunodeficiency diseases, both as a research scientist and as the head of the NIAID. From 1983 to 2002, Fauci was one of the world’s most frequently-cited scientists across all scientific journals. In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded Fauci the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, for his work on the AIDS relief program PEPFAR. Currently Fauci is the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden, officially appointed in 2021.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fauci was one of the lead members of President Donald Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force. In the early stages of the pandemic, The New Yorker and The New York Times described Fauci as one of the most trusted medical figures in the United States.
Fauci has been at the forefront of U.S. efforts to contend with viral diseases like HIV/AIDS, SARS, the Swine flu, MERS, Ebola, and COVID-19. He played a significant role in the early 2000s in creating the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and in driving development of biodefense drugs and vaccines following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Fauci has contributed to the understanding of how HIV destroys the body’s natural defense system, progressing to AIDS. He has outlined the mechanisms of induction of HIV expression by endogenous cytokines. Fauci has worked to develop strategies for the therapy and immune reconstitution of patients with the disease, as well as for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection. His current research is concentrated on identifying the nature of the immunopathogenic mechanisms of HIV infection and the scope of the body’s immune responses to HIV.
As a government scientist under seven presidents, Fauci has been described as “a consistent spokesperson for science, a person who more than any other figure has brokered a generational peace” between the two worlds of science and politics.
Leading AIDS activist Larry Kramer attacked Fauci relentlessly in the media. He called him an “incompetent idiot” and a “pill-pushing” tool of the medical establishment.
Though Fauci was initially admonished for his treatment of the AIDS epidemic, his work in the community was eventually acknowledged; Kramer, who had spent years hating Fauci for his treatment of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, eventually called him “the only true and great hero” among government officials in the AIDS crisis.
In a December 24, 2020 interview, Fauci said of his role in combating HIV/AIDS that “My career and my identity has really been defined by HIV”.