Dr. Anthony Fauci pulled down the largest salary of any taxpayer-funded federal employee in 2019, surpassing even the salary of the president of the United States.
Fauci, 80, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made $417,608 in 2019, which is the last year records are available, according to information obtained via FOIA and reported by Forbes.
By contrast, the annual salary of the president is $400,000, and that of the vice president is $235,100.
Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Jeffrey Lyash is technically a federal employee who makes more, Forbes pointed out, but his salary is not solely funded by taxpayers.
Fauci, who earned his medical degree from Cornell University, raked in $3.6 million between 2010 and 2019 and last got a raise in 2014, when his pay went from $335,000 to its present rate of $417,608. Even if he doesn’t get another raise, Fauci will make another $2.5 million between 2019 and 2024.
As Forbes notes, Fauci has seemingly downplayed how much money he is making, telling Matthew McConaughey in an interview last August that he does not have millions invested in potential vaccines. “Matthew, no, I got zero!” Fauci said. “I am a government worker. I have a government salary.”
Fauci has been working at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1968 and has advised every president since former President Ronald Reagan.
Despite the apolitical nature of his job, Fauci has arguably become a politicized and polarizing figure amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Former President Donald Trump publicly called him “a disaster” at one point, and Fauci recently gave an interview with The New York Times in which he criticized Trump. As The Daily Wire reported:
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, once again criticized former President Trump for scolding his constant pessimism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking with The New York Times, Fauci said he never took pleasure in “contradicting” the president but did so in order to avoid the spread of disinformation.
“It isn’t like I took any pleasure in contradicting the president of the United States,” Fauci said. “I have a great deal of respect for the office. But I made a decision that I just had to. Otherwise I would be compromising my own integrity, and be giving a false message to the world. If I didn’t speak up, it would be almost tacit approval that what he was saying was OK,” he said.
“That’s when I started to get into some trouble,” he continued. “The people around him, his inner circle, were quite upset that I would dare publicly contradict the president.”
Fauci added that the president would sometimes call upon him to be more positive.
“There were a couple of times where I would make a statement that was a pessimistic viewpoint about what direction we were going,” Fauci said, “and the president would call me up and say, ‘Hey, why aren’t you more positive? You’ve got to take a positive attitude. Why are you so negativistic? Be more positive.’”
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