JULY 18, 2022
- Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s ready for any potential COVID-related probes in a GOP-led Congress.
- Fauci said in a recent Politico interview that he would retire by the end of President Biden’s term.
- He said that if he’s called to testify, he’d stress the significance of COVID vaccines and boosters.
Throughout much of 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious diseases, was a daily presence in the homes of millions of Americans as they sought to navigate the complexities of the coronavirus.
In the earlier months of the pandemic, Fauci — a fixture in American government who was well-known for his role in tackling the AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 1990s — stressed the importance of skipping large gatherings, adhering to social-distancing measures, and seeking COVID-19 vaccinations once they became available to the public.
In January 2020, when news broke of a mysterious pneumonia-like virus creeping through the Eastern hemisphere, Nancy Hauge, the chief people experience officer at Automation Anywhere, would not have predicted that only months later the coronavirus outbreak would force an overhaul of the HR operating model at her organization.
By October 2020, 71% of workers with jobs that could be done remotely were working from home all or most of the time, according to data from Pew Research. Hauge was among the HR leaders facilitating this remote-work revolution within her organization.
Although she describes 2020 as the most complex period of her career, Hauge reached a compelling conclusion by year’s end. “What’s been most surprising about the pandemic is social distancing created more intimacy,” she said. “In many ways, we are more connected than before.”
More than two years into the pandemic, organizations are grappling with whether to reopen workplaces. A new Microsoft report says that about half of the leaders it surveyed are looking to end remote work in the next year.
Amazon, Google, and the accounting giant EY are among the many companies requiring employees to resume their old commutes and return to work. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, made headlines when he issued a staff memo telling employees to return to the office or “pretend to work somewhere else.” Meanwhile, employers including Atlassian, Coinbase, and Gusto are offering permanent remote- or hybrid-work options.
The return-to-work wars demonstrates a disconnect between employers and employees, as most teleworkers say they prefer working from home. A survey of more than 3,000 employees conducted by Blind, an anonymous employee community app, found that 64% of employers, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, would rather work from home than receive a $30,000 raise.
Insider spoke with 10 industry leaders who shared why they are embracing remote and hybrid work for the foreseeable future.
The responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.
However, after a conservative backlash to many COVID-19 mitigation policies, including government-mandated lockdowns and school closures, Fauci’s broad appeal became much more polarized.
By the time President Joe Biden took office last year, Fauci had become a huge target for many Republican lawmakers, who sought to tussle with him in congressional hearings and tie him to their concerns about the origins of COVID-19.
And he also said that his decision to step down was not tied to whether or not he’ll be subject to any investigations.
“They’re going to try and come after me, anyway,” he told the publication. “I mean, probably less so if I’m not in the job. I don’t make that a consideration in my career decision.”
Fauci said that if he’s called to testify before Congress, he would continue to underscore the significance of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. He also conceded that there may not be a time where the United States can clearly state that the virus has been fully cast aside — especially with the threat of newer variants.
“What we have right now, I think we’re almost at a steady state,” Fauci told Politico.
As of July 18, more than 1 million people have died of the coronavirus across the country, with over 89.5 million confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Many others continue to battle long COVID, which occurs when an individual who contracts the virus develops symptoms that last for an extended period of time. And those symptoms can dissipate and reappear later, causing health issues that can linger for weeks or months at a time, according to the Centers for Disease Control.