National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins announced Tuesday that he would resign from the agency after 12 years in the role, and nearly 30 years with the government agency, Breitbart reports.
“It has been an incredible privilege to lead this great agency for more than a decade,” Collins said in a statement published on the agency’s website.
The shocking move came as Collins was exposed by Richard Ebright of Rutgers University for having made false statements about U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) grants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
NIAID was proven to have funded study “chimeric SARS-related coronaviruses” which “could infect human cells,” more than a year after NIH officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, denied having done so.
Under Collins’ tenure, restrictions on gain-of-function virus research were lifted in 2017, which paved the way for the Wuhan lab experiments.
“Assertions by the NIH Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful,” Ebright said in the Intercept several weeks ago after examining documents about the research that were eventually made public.
Collins did not link his resignation to the revelations by Ebright, however.
Another possible reason for Collins’ resignation may be a departure from the Biden administration on the advisability of booster shots for COVID-19.
Collins has recommended limited boosters for those 65 and over and vulnerable populations, such as the immunosuppressed. In contrast, the Biden administration wants boosters for all Americans eight months after they were initially vaccinated.
The discrepancy in recommendations has led to several resignations at the CDC, which had also come out against COVID-19 boosters for everyone, which quickly knocked the administration off the tracks as they scrambled to clarify their position.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also saw resignations, and has approved Pfizer boosters only, specifically for those aged 65 and over, young persons at high risk for severe disease, and those frequently exposed to the virus, such as health care workers.
Collins was the only recent NIH director to serve under three different administrations and was the longest-running director in the agency’s history.