White House doubly amplified covid czar has ‘mild symptoms’
President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, tested positive for the new coronavirus on Wednesday, the White House has confirmed. The 81-year-old public health official diagnosed herself with a rapid antigen test and is experiencing mild symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“Dr. Fauci will use the . follow [Covid]-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] and medical advice from his doctor and return to the NIH when he tests negative,” the NIH said in a statement, adding that he will be working from home until then.
This was Fauci’s first time testing positive for the virus, according to the Washington Post, adding that the doctor has also been given two doses of the Moderna vaccine and two booster shots.
The White House said Fauci was not in what the CDC defines as “close contact” with Biden or other senior government officials. About half of Biden’s cabinet recently contracted Covid, and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive for the virus for the second time in a month earlier this week.
Fauci was due to testify before the Senate Public Health Committee on Thursday morning about the current state of the US government’s response to the coronavirus, along with CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and FDA Commissioner Robert Califf. It was unclear on Wednesday afternoon whether he would appear via a video link or be completely absent.
In April, Fauci declared the “pandemic phase” of covid passed for the US, but added that the virus will not be eradicated, only kept at “very low” infection levels from intermittent vaccinations.
Fauci has headed the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984 and played a prominent role in the US response to the AIDS epidemic. However, he was elevated to a cult figure by Democrats in 2020 after clashing with President Donald Trump over the US administration’s response to Covid-19.
Biden campaigned “Fuci trust” and upon taking office elevated him to a top medical adviser and put him in charge of his administration’s pandemic response. The masking and vaccination mandates championed by Fauci have since been dismissed by the courts as excessive.