Top US government scientist Anthony Fauci was recovering after surgery on Thursday to remove a growth from his vocal cords that was giving him a gravelly voice.
Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was home and resting, but expected to “back online tomorrow” and at the office on Monday, the agency said in a statement to AFP.
Advertisements - Click the Speaker Icon for Audio
The 79-year-old doctor has led the country’s response to every epidemic since the 1980s.
His public profile is currently bigger than ever thanks to his scientific straight-talk on the coronavirus pandemic, which puts him frequently at odds with President Donald Trump.
The surgery removed a polyp — a non-cancerous growth that often resembles a blister and can cause raspiness.
Fauci has previously said he got the polyp after experiencing winter flu and then not giving his vocal cords sufficient time to rest.
He has lately been giving interviews to the media, academia and think tanks almost every day.
A widely-respected member of the White House coronavirus taskforce, Fauci has amassed a large fan base, who buy T-shirts and bobbleheads in his likeness.
But he has also been assigned bodyguards following death threats from people who believe he is part of a wider conspiracy to exaggerate the health crisis for political and financial ends.