Collins’ Skillful Piloting Helped NIH Steer Clear of Political Minefields

It’s remarkable that the reputation of the National Institutes of Health has remained mostly intact through the covid-19 pandemic, even as other federal science agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have come under partisan fire. That is in no small part due to NIH’s soft-spoken but politically astute director, Dr. Francis Collins. The motorcycle-riding, guitar-playing Collins announced Tuesday he will step down by the end of the year from his job as chief of the research agency, having served more than a dozen years under three presidents. “No single person should serve in the position t...

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