White House Chief Medical Adviser Anthony Fauci spent his last public briefing, on Tuesday, urging people to please get their COVID-19 shots and boosters if they haven’t already.
Fauci, who was the public face of the COVID response under the Trump and Biden administrations, briefed reporters from the White House for the last time before he leaves the government in December. He urged people to get up to date on their COVID and flu shots before winter.
“My message—and my final message, maybe the final message I give you from this podium—is that please for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated COVID-19 shot as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself, your family, and your community,” he said.
Fauci has served at the National Institutes of Health for 54 years, including leading the National Allergy and Infectious Disease Institute for nearly 40.
When asked how he wants people to remember him, Fauci replied, “I’ll let other people judge the value or not of my accomplishments, but what I would like people to remember about what I’ve done is that every day for all of those years I’ve given it everything that I have and I’ve never left anything on the field.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Fauci became a punching bag for the right as he pushed back on misinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus. Donald Trump called Fauci an “idiot” and a “disaster,” regularly belittled his public health advice, and then got his own COVID-19 vaccine in secret before he left the White House.