Washington — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Biden and a leading official in the fight against the, has tested positive for COVID-19, the National Institutes of Health announced.
The NIH said in a statement that Fauci, 81, is fully vaccinated and has been boosted twice. He is experiencing mild symptoms, and has not recently been in close contact with President Biden or other top government officials, the agency said.
Fauci, the director of the National Institutes for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) since 1984, received his positive result on a rapid antigen test, and will return to work at the NIH when he tests negative, the agency said.
The NIH confirmed Fauci is taking the antiviral drug, which has been proven to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death.
Fauci has been a key, and at times polarizing, figure in the nation’s efforts to combat the pandemic since its start in early 2020, advising both former President Donald Trump and President Biden on the federal response. He managed to avoid contracting COVID-19 until now — more than two years after the World Health Organizationa global pandemic.