Dr. Anthony Fauci Tests Positive For COVID

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has mild symptoms and is isolating at home.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has tested positive for COVID-19, the National Institutes of Health said Wednesday, marking the first time the nation’s leading expert on infectious disease is known to have contracted the virus.

Fauci is experiencing “mild symptoms” and isolating as he works from home, the NIH said.

He has been fully vaccinated and boosted twice in line with public health guidance.

The NIH noted that Fauci has not been in recent close contact with President Joe Biden or “other senior government officials.”

The 81-year-old doctor has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for decades, and also currently works as Biden’s chief medical advisor.

He has spent the past 2 1/2 years helping to lead the United States’ response to the coronavirus pandemic, first under the administration of Donald Trump, whose supporters have widely vilified him.

Public health measures intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 have been lifted in much of the country as more people receive vaccines, which are highly effective at preventing severe illness and death from the virus.

Some medical professionals, however, warn that this is premature. The U.S. passed a grim milestone ― 1 million dead of COVID-19 ― just last month.

Fauci intends to return to work in person after he tests negative, according to the NIH, meaning he will exercise a bit more caution than is officially recommended. Over the course of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has loosened its guidance on isolation for vaccinated people who test positive, and currently says people can stop isolating after five full days if they do not have a fever and their symptoms are improving.

The news of his diagnosis came within minutes of a Food and Drug Administration panel voting to approve the Moderna vaccine for children ages 5 and under, marking another a milestone in the U.S. pandemic response and a welcome change for many parents of very young children.

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