December 29, 2021
Anthony Fauci is set to rake in the highest-ever federal government retirement package in U.S. history with his annual payment exceeding $350,000, according to a Forbes estimate.
The White House‘s top COVID adviser, who is 81, has shown no indications that he will retire any time soon after 55 years as a federal employee. Since 1984, Fauci has served as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health.
If he retired today, Fauci would still earn $350,000 per year on retirement and his pension and benefits would continue to increase with cost-of-living adjustments, audtiros at OpenTheBooks.com found in the Forbes review.
Fauci has become somewhat of a celebrity among Democrats after he became the point person on the White House coronavirus response under Trump and continued that role with Biden. He was often praised by the left for rebuking Trump in the early days of the pandemic.
On the other hand, Republicans have called for Fauci to be fired and have slammed the doctor for his agency giving a gain-of-function grant to the Wuhan lab, which they claim led to the development of the COVID-19 virus.
MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace said Tuesday on-air with a COVID panel: ‘I’m a Fauci groupie. I’m a thrice-vaccinated, mask adherent. I buy KN95 masks by the, you know, caseload. They’re in every pocket. I wear them everywhere except when I sit down.’
The infectious disease expert has preached avid mask-wearing and getting vaccinated – including boosted – against coronavirus. This quickly led Trump supporters to turn against the doctor, claiming he is trying to take away right by mandating masks and vaccines
In 2019, Fauci had a salary of $417,608 and in 2020 was bumped to $434,312 – giving him two consecutive years of being the highest compensated federal employee. Fauci even out-earned the president, four star generals and the rest of his roughly 4.3 million colleagues in the federal government.
As president, Joe Biden, 79, earns $400,000 annually.
Information has not yet been released for Fauci’s 2021 salary, but Forbes filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to receive all financial disclosures, which a federal judge required be produced starting February 1, 2022.
The Office of Personnel Management notes that federal employees with such a lengthy service like Fauci can retire and still earn 80 per cent of their average salary from the last three salaries they earned – plus any credit they have left for sick leave that wasn’t taken.
Using 2018, 2019 and 2020 salaries, which equates to $1.252 million in earnings over three years, Fauci would have started raking in an 80 per cent pension payment of $333,745 if he had retired at the end of 2020.
In this calculator Forbes also factored in a cost-of-living increase through the three years.
Since Fauci’s 2021 and 2022 salaries are still unknown – but likely similar or slightly higher – it’s safe to say his retirement pay should he choose to end his tenure soon would be closer to $347,500 or higher.
Fauci started in his most high-profile role yet as the second-ever Chief Medical Advisor to the President in January 2021, when Biden took office.
His biggest pay bump, however, came in 2004 under President George W. Bush when Fauci got a ‘permanent pay adjustment’ for biodefense work.
In 2008, Bush awarded Fauci with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work on the Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program.
Since Fauci has also far-exceeded the 10-year-minimum work requirement to receive an annuity in retirement, his annual payout would increase by 2 per cent of his average three-high salary, meaning if he were to leave at the end of December, he could earn around $8,500 more per year in retirement.
Senator Rand Paul, one of Fauci’s biggest critics, blamed the infectious disease expert on Monday for thousands of COVID deaths, claiming he is ‘biased’ in his push for vaccines while he ignores proven therapeutics for the virus.
‘I would venture to say that thousands of people die in our country every month now because [Fauci’s] deemphasized the idea that there are therapeutics,’ Paul told his father, three-time presidential candidate and former Texas Representative Ron Paul, on ‘Liberty Report’.
The senator also claimed thousands died because Fauci did not take into account natural immunity in his prioritization of vaccinations.
‘Because he’s made this mistake of deemphasizing natural immunity, I think thousands of people have lost their lives,’ Fauci added in his Monday discussion. ‘For instance, I’ve already had it – I should be at the end of the line.’
With the prevailing pandemic, Fauci has become the expert voice on the White House response to coronavirus.
While it appeared early in the summer that the U.S. was in the final days of restrictions in the pandemic, the administration quickly reinstated mandates as the Delta variant emerged – and now it is grappling with the even more contagious, but seemingly less serious, Omicron variant.
This fall, the administration created a rule requiring private companies with 100 or more employees to impose a vaccine-or-test mandate so all workers must prove they are vaccinated or else be subject to at least weekly testing.
Case rates have doubled nationwide over the last two weeks as the Omicron variant takes hold and mask mandates have been reimposed in areas where they were finally lifted, like Washington, D.C.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends all people be fully vaccinated regardless of previous infection.
According to a CDC study of residents in Kentucky, the state Paul represents in the Senate, those who had COVID-19 and were not vaccinated were 2.34 times more likely than those vaccinated to become reinfected in May and June 2021, which was before the emergence of the Omicron variant.
On average, 235,269 Americans are testing positive for the virus every day, a 99 percent increase over the last two weeks.