Since 1984 he has been at the table and help lead the fight to keep Americans healthy and virus free.
Now, at the time of the pandemic Covid-19, Dr. Anthony FauciTrusted Source became the voice and symbol of the promise at a time and determination in the fight against the new coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci seated with Healthline for an exclusive interview Friday to talk about the pandemic Covid-19, in collaboration with six presidential administrations, and what it does to deal with stress in a pandemic.
Here are some excerpts from our conversation with the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), was a member of the Working Group on President Trump Covid-19.
You have been in this field since 1984 and six governments. Can you remember a time, even remotely similar to this challenge?
Dr. Anthony Fauci: It’s interesting that we speak today. On June 4, 1981, the first report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of morbidity and mortality weekly report showed that gays five men, all of Los Angeles, presented a strange new disease.
In 1984, it was when I became director of [NIAID] the beginning of an epidemic that we do not fully understand the implications. We mistakenly thought that it was limited to the gay community and consumers of injection drugs.
We did not know that in the world and Africa, he seethed as an essentially heterosexual disease that right now, today, fast forward, more than 80 million people were infected, more than 37 million people died and there are 37 million people living with HIV. This was my first interaction with the Presidency, with the administration of Ronald Reagan.
So it was not the explosive, the 19-Covid immediate nature, which affects mainly, directly or indirectly, everyone in the world because everyone feels they are in danger. This is different than with HIV, when it was clear it was defined by a risky behavior and not something that was completely out of your control, such as respiratory diseases.
And then we had the anthrax attacks and pandemic influenza, and we had the Ebola virus and Zika, so for better or worse I have had the opportunity to participate in six different administrations by epidemics some of which were more serious than others; some were threatening, but they did not really impact us as Ebola. You know, there were the headlines, but there was never really any risk to the United States that there would be an epidemic.
But to answer your question: What we experience now is really unprecedented.
it was asked because of the length of time that I do this, as in all years, what is your worst nightmare?
And I always tell my worst nightmare – and I said it a few years, not just recently during Covid – I have said for decades that my worst nightmare is the evolution of a new infection that jumps species easily from an animal model a human being who is a respiratory virus, because it is those that can spread easily, and it is very effective in its ability to spread from person to person, and has a high degree of morbidity and mortality. That’s what I always thought would be my worst nightmare.
And here we are.
Fauci: we are here, people. My worst nightmare. Frankly speaking, I did it for 36 years, which is the unprecedented serious situation that we had because of the potential to be what it is not just potential. It is a global pandemic.
Let’s talk about balancing hope with pragmatism, which is just what the public part of your job is. What have you seen since January as amped your hope? What makes you feel positive as we move forward?
Fauci: I think it is the ability of our scientific community to find solutions. I mean, we are well into the development of a vaccine, what is the fastest we have ever gone to the recognition of a new pathogen, in this case a virus. And therefore on the development of vaccines with several candidates [tested] in humans already.
Hopefully by the end of this year we will develop a vaccine, we can deploy. We can never guarantee. You can never, ever guarantee the success of a vaccine. We just have a good experience to know that we are aspirationally, with cautious optimism that we will have by the end of the year.
If we do, it will be massively faster than we ever had a vaccine. That gives me hope. The fact that we are working hard on the development of different therapies so that we enter the autumn and winter season we hope will be two therapies that have proven effective.
We have already proven in a randomized controlled trial with remdesivir he has a modest but statistically significant effect on reducing the time it takes to recover in hospitalized patients with lung disease.
The other thing is that we know that when we do physical separation, we can actually blunt the effect of spreading the virus. The only difficulty with this, as you well know, is that when you stop the company to avoid physical proximity and interaction, it has unintended consequences on the economy, on employment, even on human health who need medical care for other things coronavirus. So, it is a complicated situation.