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Dr. Fauci is paid handsomely for his work

Published Jan 25th, 2021 8:07PM EST
Coronavirus update
Image: Kevin Dietsch - Pool via CNP/MEGA
  • With each new coronavirus update he’s given, Dr. Anthony Fauci has seen his name recognition increasingly elevated to put him on par with a figure like the president of the United States.
  • Dr. Fauci has actually surpassed the president on one front: Salary.
  • A new report from Forbes reveals that Dr. Fauci may actually be the highest-paid employee in the federal workforce.

With each coronavirus update he’s presented to government officials, journalists, and the public, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has seen his profile and name recognition improve, to the point that he’s now maybe second only to the president in terms of his familiarity to the general public. A new report, however, reveals that the 80-year-old doctor who has been at the forefront of the US response to the coronavirus pandemic for almost a year now may have actually surpassed the president in one area: His paycheck.

Using data from 2019, which is the most recent year for which federal salaries were available, a new report from Forbes pegs Dr. Fauci’s most recent salary at $417,608. The salary data was collected by OpenTheBooks.com via a Freedom of Information Act request, and among the findings it reveals is that Dr. Fauci makes more than even the president of the United States (whose salary is set at $400,000). Moreover, Dr. Fauci’s 2019 salary makes him the highest-paid employee in the entire federal workforce, which only counts federal employees whose salaries are paid for by taxpayers. That tally doesn’t count officials like Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Jeffrey Lyash, whose salary is paid for by his organization’s revenue.

According to the Forbes report, Dr. Fauci (who also works as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) will have made $2.5 million from 2019 through 2024 if he stays in his same position and his salary doesn’t increase during that time. From 2010 through 2019, Dr. Fauci pulled in $3.6 million, which includes a salary bump he got in 2014 — from $335,000 to his current pay, $417,608.

Dr. Fauci seemed to play down his salary during an August 2020 Instagram Live interview with actor Matthew McConaughey, when the actor asked Dr. Fauci whether he had any investments tied up in the development of COVID-19 vaccines. Could he profit from the vaccines, in other words? “Matthew, no, I got zero!” Dr. Fauci laughed. “I am a government worker. I have a government salary.”

For some salary comparisons, consider that Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task coordinator under President Trump, earned almost $306,000/year.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will bring in $223,500 in 2021, while US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will make $270,000/year, and four-star military generals make $268,000.

Andy Meek
Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.