Federal AIDS chief Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said Wednesday that he has removed his name from consideration for the post of director of the National Institutes of Health.
Fauci, who is in charge of all AIDS programs for NIH and is director of its National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was considered a leading candidate to replace Dr. James B. Wyngaarden, the departing director. Fauci was one of several people described by President Bush as a personal "hero" during one of the presidential campaign debates.
"As a scientist, I asked myself: 'What is it that I really love to do, and how can I make the most major contribution?' " Fauci said. "The NIH job is a great job, but I'm very involved in my science, and I want to continue to lead the NIH effort against AIDS. We're in the middle of a fierce and important war. Now is not the time to withdraw from the scene of the battle."