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Fauci Touched Consumer Health With His Service In Infectious Disease Research

Executive Summary

In more than 50 years in NIH positions, the past 38 as NIAID director, Fauci's been a key infectious disease expert during a period stretching from responding to HIV/AIDs, to the COVID-19 epidemic and most recently to spread of monkeypox.

Anthony Fauci’s nearly 40 years as National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director hasn’t led to close regulatory or research connections with the US consumer health industry, but his work is difficult to dismiss as not touching the market.

“He looms over everything,” said Daniel Fabricant, president and CEO of the Natural Products Association.

“His work protecting and promoting the public health over five decades is unparalleled, and his work has literally saved millions of lives globally,” said Scott Melville, president and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

Fauci, 81, has worked for more than 50 years in National Institutes of Health positions, the past 38 as NIAID director. He’s been at the NIAID helm during a period stretching from the NIH and the country’s responses to the emergence of HIV/AID, to the novel coronavirus epidemic spreading across the US starting in late 2019 and most recently to the spread of monkeypox.

On 22 August, he announced that in December he will leave his posts as director of NIAID and chief of its Immunoregulation Laboratory and as chief medical advisor to President Biden.

In addition to HIV/AIDs and COVID-19, Fauci also noted he has served under and advised seven presidents, beginning with President Reagan, on emerging and re-emerging infectious disease threats including West Nile virus, anthrax attacks, pandemic influenza, various bird influenza threats, Ebola and Zika.

“I am particularly proud to have served as the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden since the very first day of his administration,” he said in his announcement.

'Bully Pulpit' For COVID-19 Precautions

Fabricant, a former director of the Food and Drug Administration’s dietary supplement programs, points out Fauci’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic extended beyond infectious disease research.

“He did have significant say over products like hand sanitizer, and everything else. As it pertains to COVID, he got out on the bully pulpit often and said, ‘Hey, don't go for fraudulent cures. If it sounds too good to be true. It probably is.’ That's certainly had an impact on consumer health,” Fabricant said.

“I think that's what you always have to take away from his tenure is, here's a guy who's been around, he's in the government in a public health role his whole life and had to wear a lot of different hats,” he added.

CHPA’s Melville stated similar regard for Fauci’s work.

“Has there ever been a more dedicated or impactful public health civil servant than Anthony Fauci?,” he said in a statement to HBW Insight.

“I’m extremely grateful to Dr. Fauci for his service to our nation and our public health, and wish him a well-deserved retirement, if that is what he chooses to do next.”

The NIAID, as well other NIH arm or other public agency in the medical and healthcare fields, likely won’t have another director with the tenure Fauci has had.

“No one stays in one place anymore, for one thing. I think it's very significant in that regard,” Fabricant said, adding, “I don't know that you're going to have anyone with that sort of tenure, and sort of given that wide  a berth."

Fauci, who is writing a memoir, was 27 when he joined the NIH in 1968 as a doctor who’d recently finished medical residency.

He says he’s not retiring but will “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.”

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