Anthony Fauci is set to receive an annual retirement package exceeding $350,000 following his controversial tenure as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The staggering, taxpayer-funded figure comes amidst Fauci – who sent U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund risky bat coronavirus research at a Chinese Communist Party-controlled lab in Wuhan – announcing he’d step down from his National Institutes of Health (NIH) position in addition to the role of Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden in December.
“I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career,” Fauci added.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to have led the NIAID, an extraordinary institution, for so many years and through so many scientific and public health challenges,” he said, glossing past the long-standing allegations of impropriety in his career that saw him labelled a “murderer” by the LGBT community, as well as seeing his wife take a role as Head of Bioethics in the U.S. government.
But Fauci will have to wait on his government checks for a while, as he also announced, “I am not retiring. After more than 50 years of government service, I plan to pursue the next phase of my career while I still have so much energy and passion for my field. I want to use what I have learned as NIAID Director to continue to advance science and public health and to inspire and mentor the next generation of scientific leaders as they help prepare the world to face future infectious disease threats.”
Commenters have already noted that Fauci’s vague resignation as Republicans are set to take control of the House and its investigative powers means he may well be leaving the gates open to the corporate side of his work. Fauci’s operations have enriched Big Pharma for decades, and he may now reap the rewards.
“Over the coming months, I will continue to put my full effort, passion and commitment into my current responsibilities, as well as help prepare the Institute for a leadership transition. NIH is served by some of the most talented scientists in the world, and I have no doubt that I am leaving this work in very capable hands,” he concluded in a statement.
As the most highly compensated federal employee who served in the government for 55 years, Fauci is eligible to earn “80 percent of [his] high-3 average salary, plus credit for [his] sick leave,” according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
The most recent disclosures of Fauci’s salary are from the years 2018, 2019, and 2020, which total $399,625, $417,608, and $434,312, respectively.
Based on analysis and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by the watchdog group Open The Books, Fauci’s salaries from more recent years would likely be even higher and entitle him to an even larger retirement package.
Dr. Fauci earned a total of $1,252,000 from 2018 to 2020, entitling him to a federal pension of $333,745 a year, plus cost-of-living increases, as calculated by Open The Books.
“However, Fauci’s unpublished FY2021 and FY2022 salaries are likely commensurate, if not higher than his 2020 salary. Therefore, his retirement pay would be closer to $347,500 a year,” explained the group. Fauci will also likely receive an annuity from the federal government.
After 10 years of service, federal employees are eligible for “2 percent of [their] high-3 average salary for each year.” This would allow him to earn an extra $8,344 a year (($1,251,545/3) x 2% = $8,344).
“If he leaves at the end of this month, that figure is likely closer to $8,575 a year in annuity payments, assuming his salary did not go down in 2021,” explained Open The Books.
Fauci’s impending resignation follows NIH Director Francis Collins stepping down from his role upon scrutiny of the agency’s decision to fund gain-of-function research in China. Fauci, whose track record on other public health crises such as HIV and AIDS has also been controversial, also retained close relationships with many of the researchers involved in the Wuhan-based research despite efforts to distance himself following the outbreak of COVID-19.