Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, is stepping down at the end of the year.
While the news is not exactly surprising, Fauci previously indicated that he would stay on through Biden's presidency.
What are the details?
Fauci, 81, announced Monday that is not retiring per se, but leaving government service in pursuit of other career goals.
"While I am moving on from my current positions, I am not retiring," Fauci said in a statement. "After more than 50 years of government service, I plan to pursue the next phase of my career while I still have so much energy and passion for my field.
"I want to use what I have learned as NIAID Director to continue to advance science and public health and to inspire and mentor the next generation of scientific leaders as they help prepare the world to face future infectious disease threats," he added.
Fauci has served in various public roles for more than a half-century, advising every president since Ronald Reagan.
Biden reacted to the news by praising Fauci as a "dedicated public servant" and a "steady hand" who embodies "wisdom and insight honed over decades at the forefront of some of our most dangerous and challenging public health crises."
"Because of Dr. Fauci’s many contributions to public health, lives here in the United States and around the world have been saved," Biden said. "The United States of America is stronger, more resilient, and healthier because of him."
Fauci's taxpayer-funded government pension will exceed $350,000 in annual payouts.
The news comes as Fauci's role in the U.S. government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic — and whether his agency was engaged in gain-of-function research — is fiercely scrutinized.
Indeed, earlier this month, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) held a hearing on gain-of-function research; Paul has repeatedly accused Fauci and the U.S. government of engaging in funding risky biological research.
In response, Paul said that Fauci's retirement will not hinder his investigative efforts.
"Fauci’s resignation will not prevent a full-throated investigation into the origins of the pandemic. He will be asked to testify under oath regarding any discussions he participated in concerning the lab leak," Paul said.
Editor's note: This story was updated to include Sen. Paul's response.