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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser and the longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says it’s likely he will retire before the next election. 

Fauci’s move would cap a decades-long career helming key parts of the federal government’s response to infectious diseases, ranging from the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s to the nation’s current COVID-19 response. 

“My time is running out. I’m 81 years old,” Fauci said in an interview on Australian radio station 3AW, in response to a question about whether he planned to stay at his post if former President Donald Trump won the 2024 election. 

The 81-year-old has previously recounted his efforts to speak out against the Trump administration’s “disturbing” misinformation about the pandemic, as well as his “bogeyman” status among Trump supporters. 

Dr. Fauci (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

CBS News has reported that Trump has told allies that he is weighing announcing a presidential run for the next election as early as this summer.

“By 2024, it is unlikely that I will still be at this job no matter who gets to be president of the United States,” Fauci told the radio station. 

In an interview with CNN on Monday, Fauci said he had not laid out specific plans or dates to retire.

“It is extremely unlikely, in fact for sure, that I’m not going to be here beyond January 2025. So sometime between now, Kate, and January 2025, you can guarantee I’ll step down,” Fauci told CNN. 

Fauci had previously said he hoped to step down only after the pandemic was closer to its end.

“I’ve always said we’ve got to get this thing under control. I’m obviously 81 years old, at the point in my career where I’m going to have to sit down at some time. But I would want it to be when we get this under better control. And we may be coming to that point right now. We may be closer to that now,” Fauci told “Red & Blue” in April.

But in an interview with Politico published Monday, Fauci acknowledged that COVID-19 may be around for many years.

“If somebody says, ‘You’ll leave when we don’t have Covid anymore,’ then I will be 105. I think we’re going to be living with this,” Fauci said.