Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

My life and family have been threatened over COVID-19 public-health message ─Fauci

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Topmost infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci’s handling of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States (US) is ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ according to 64 percent Americans in an October 2020 Morning Consult/Politico poll.

Described by millions as America’s ‘Voice of Science’, Fauci who is Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been a highly regarded infectious diseases doctor in the US since 1984. He is reported to have practically reached rock-star status for his role in educating the developed country on the ravaging pandemic.

In this recent conversation with Bloomberg, the health professional describes COVID-19 as a brand-new infection and explosive outbreak that has essentially endangered everyone on the planet in 102 years. He also reveals how great strides of science have already given humanity at least two safe and highly effective vaccines. Excerpts:

When did you know year 2020 was going to be one for the record books?

When New York got hit as badly as it got hit in the spring, then I knew it was going to be a really, really bad year.

When you have a virus that is that highly transmissible—that makes enough people sick that you almost overrun the system in a city as sophisticated as New York—then I knew we were in for a hard time.

What has gone well so far?

Things certainly went well with regard to the science. We would not even be close to this 10 years ago without the technology of the new vaccine platforms (the first to use a genetic blueprint of the virus to prompt an immune response), which are the result of basic and applied clinical research, plus the network of clinical trial sites that I originally set up to test for prevention and treatment of HIV. This is the fruit of investment that long antedated COVID-19.

I still want to attack malaria and tuberculosis, so I’m not through yet. But, yes, let’s say it is. HIV was an outbreak with devastating consequences for society.

We’re now almost 40 years into the HIV epidemic, and it’s still a lingering, smoldering global outbreak. We’ve had spectacular success with HIV in the realm of therapy, not so much in the realm of vaccines.

The situation is similar with COVID to the extent that it’s a brand-new infection that has thrust itself on society. But it ends there, because this is an explosive outbreak that essentially threatens everyone on the planet.

We’ve seen it literally shut down everything, causing economic destruction and devastation. It’s the worst outbreak of a respiratory-borne illness in 102 years.

Great strides of science have already given us two safe and highly effective vaccines. Ultimately, we will get control of this virus.

Early in the HIV outbreak, you took heavy criticism. Did you ever imagine you would be beloved?

That’s just part of society’s thirsting for clarity, for facts, for information that’s based on sound science and evidence. I have become a symbol of that.

What’s your advice to Americans about end-of-the-year 2020 holidays?

Is it worth the risk of bringing a lot of people together, or should you say, “We’re going to pull back a little bit on the holiday season until we get it under better control”?

It could be worse at the end of the year. We already hear that planes are fully booked, airports are going to be crowded. That’s going to lead to an upsurge in cases.

Did you have to pull any punches because of political affairs in the US?

I have not pulled back. That’s the reason I’ve been threatened, both my life and my safety. My family has been harassed because I have not pulled back.

That is a ridiculous situation, where someone who is trying to give a public-health message actually has their life threatened. I’ve chosen this life. I am not worried about myself, but I am angry that my family is also being harassed.

That is the sign of cowards, who harass somebody’s family because the person is trying to give a public-health message.

Has the politically charged environment, particularly stemming from the Donald Trump administration damaged America’s response to Coronavirus?

Parts of the country have paid no attention to public-health measures and pushed back on them. That’s really a problem. I’m not going to comment on the Trump administration.

What about the Biden administration?

I have served six administrations. I look forward to serving a seventh.

Kindly Share This Story