Anthony Fauci: National Institute of Infectious Diseases Mar 30, 2020 19:10:54 GMT
Post by Admin on Mar 30, 2020 19:10:54 GMT
During the 2014 Ebola outbreak, many Americans panicked when a US nurse was infected by a patient she was caring for, a traveller from West Africa. Ebola can cause deadly bleeding.
Fauci confronted those fears by setting a personal example. When the NIH hospital released that nurse, not only did he say she was not contagious, he gave her a hug before TV cameras to prove he was not worried.
Fast-forward six years, and Fauci is again at the forefront of scientists' efforts to dispel misinformation and explain the coronavirus pandemic, even when it means being at odds with the president.
Fauci uses a metaphor from one of the fastest-moving sports to describe his strategy on the outbreak. "You skate not to where the puck is, but to where the puck is going to be," he told a House committee.
He has simultaneously advocated containment to try to keep the virus from spreading, mitigation to check its damage once it gets loose in a community, immediate efforts to increase testing, and short-term and long-term science to develop treatments and vaccines. He is hoping a dynamic response will put the nation where the puck ends up going.
"It's unpredictable," he said. "Testing now is not going to tell you how many cases you're going to have. What will tell you ... will be how you respond to it with containment and mitigation."
Over the weekend, Fauci told CNN that the pandemic could ultimately kill between 100,000 and 200,000 people in the US should mitigation be unsuccessful.
Serving a president who initially dismissed coronavirus by comparing it to seasonal flu, Fauci has been even-handed in public. He has won the respect of Democratic and Republican legislators, along with Trump administration officials.
Almost in a matter-of-fact fashion, Fauci acknowledged to Congress earlier this month that the government system was not designed for mass testing of potential infections. "It is a failing, let's admit it," he told legislators.
When asked about Trump's comments on an anti-malaria drug that he said could be a "game-changer" in the race to find a coronavirus treatment, Fauci, standing next to the president, said there was not scientific data to support the use of the drug.
Fauci's candour has not stopped Trump from praising him. "Tony has been doing a tremendous job working long, long hours," earlier this month, as rumours swirled that there was a division between Fauci and the White House.
For Fauci's part, he has said he that while the pair disagree on some things, there is no division.