Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious disease expert, has undergone surgery to remove a growth from his vocal cord that was causing his notably raspy voice.

Dr Fauci, who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, underwent outpatient surgery for the polyp and is at home and resting, an institute spokesperson told the Associated Press.

The expert, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, has become the nation’s leading scientific voice on the pandemic, giving regular public advice via media interviews and webcasts, most recently one on Wednesday afternoon. Polyps are bumps that can form on the vocal cords and cause hoarseness.

Dr Fauci has been open about his condition, saying in an interview with the Economic Club of Washington this spring that he had an irritated throat after a bout of winter flu that never got a chance to heal.

“I probably have a polyp there,” he said at the time, adding that “the only way you’re going to make it get better is to keep your mouth shut. But that’s not in the cards right now”.

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