After spending nearly 50 years in government service, Dr. Anthony Fauci plans to step down from his role as the Director of U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In his final White House press briefing on Tuesday, Fauci bid farewell to the American public and urged the nation to continue its vaccination efforts.
“Please, for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated Covid-19 shot as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself, your family and your community,” he said.
“I don’t want to see anybody hospitalized, and I don’t want to see anybody die from Covid. Whether you’re a far-right Republican or a far-left Democrat doesn’t make any difference to me,” he added.
As the press conference unfolded, the structure of the briefing began to fall apart as a journalist began asking questions about the origins of COVID-19. However, White House officials pushed back against those questions as they were asked out of turn.
“I’m not calling on people who yell and you’re being disrespectful to your colleagues, and you’re being disrespectful to our guests,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
“I will not call on you if you yell and also you’re taking time off the clock, because Dr. Fauci has to leave in a couple of minutes.”
This may be Fauci’s final press briefing, but this will not be his last appearance on Capitol Hill. The infectious disease specialist has remained open to participating in a potential hearing with Congress.
“If there are oversight hearings, I absolutely will cooperate fully and testify before the Congress if asked,” he stated.