At the onset of the coronavirus outbreak in 2019, Dr. Fauci was certainly not a household name. Now, almost amid the global pandemic, he has become a hero in the eyes of many across the globe. Let’s know who Dr. Anthony Fauci is and why he is news!
Dr. Anthony Stephen Fauci is an immunologist and well accomplished American scientist. He is currently holding the position of director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). He oversees an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis and, malaria as well as emerging diseases such as Ebola and Zika. What makes Dr. Fauci even more important at this crucial time is the fact that he is also serving as a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. This Task Force was established in January 2020 and has been given the responsibility to address the current COVID-19 global pandemic.
Why is Dr. Anthony Fauci in the news?
Dr. Fauci estimated that the fatality rate of those infected by COVID-19 will be close to 1%. It is pertinent to mention here the World Health Organisation has estimated it to be around 3.4%. Dr. Fauci’s estimates may look like a sigh of relief numerically. But we must not forget the fatality rate of COVID-19 is still 10 times higher than the reported rate for seasonal flu which is 0.1%.
Dr. Fauci, being an infectious disease expert, has become a regular fixture and a calming presence along the U.S. President Donald Trump for the briefings on Coronavirus outbreak. The world has witnessed not-so-steady reactions from President Donald Trump on the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. However, Dr. Fauci has been a not just steady but a calm and honest presence for everyone on his views about the nature and extent of the threat of COVID-19. It is this reason that Dr. Fauci’s absence on Presidential briefing on 23rd March 2020 caused some discomfort among the Americans and he started trending on various social media platforms. The hashtag #WhereIsDrFauci trended on Twitter.
Accomplishments of Dr. Fauci
Dr. Fauci has played a crucial role in the early 2000s in creating the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. He has also been instrumental in driving the development of biodefense drugs and vaccines following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Dr. Fauci is the recipient of many awards including:
- Arthur S. Fleming Award (1979) for serving as an outstanding federal employee,
- National Medal of Science (2005) for his significant contributions in science and engineering,
- Presidential Medal of Freedom (2008) for his outstanding service to the nation,
- American Association of Immunologists Lifetime Achievement Award (2005),
- Robert Koch Gold Medal (2013),
- Prince Mahidol Award (2013)
- John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award (2016)