Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus during the White House press briefing on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.
Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images
U.S. intelligence agencies under the Biden administration, in an assessment published in August 2021, were split about the most likely origin.
One agency had moderate confidence that the virus infected people after a lab incident, while four agencies assessed with low confidence that the virus had a natural origin, according to the assessment, which did not identify those agencies.
Earlier this year, Fauci announced that he will step down in December after leading the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for nearly 40 years.
For decades, Fauci was respected as a public health servant on both sides of the political aisle.
But as the response to the pandemic became increasingly politicized under then-President Donald Trump, a Republican, Fauci became a lightning rod for many conservatives in Congress.
In addition to arguing with them over the origins of the virus, Fauci has also repeatedly clashed with Republicans in Congress over mask and vaccine policy.