Tune in to Dr. Fauci

Article Image

Dr. Anthony Fauci opens up to Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN's podcast about how he's coping with his personal health while juggling daily demands.

Posted: Apr 3, 2020 10:41 PM
Updated: Apr 3, 2020 10:41 PM

Want to feel better in this moment of crisis? Stop binge-watching the shows. Put down the ice cream. (They'll be there later.) Tune in to Tony Fauci when he appears on TV or better yet, listen to him chat with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on his CNN podcast.

When you do, you'll hear the leader we need as others fail us. Dr. Fauci is a man with a scientific mind, a compassionate heart, and a Jesuitical commitment to helping others. He refuses to blame even the President, who was tragically slow to heed his counsel. And he won't stop fighting until we are safe.

If you don't know him by now, Anthony Fauci is the silver-haired, bespectacled physician-scientist who stands in the background at White House briefings on the coronavirus pandemic and steps up to speak when the questions get technical and, more importantly, demand precise, authoritative answers. Head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, he has taken responsibility for fights against everything from HIV/AIDS to now Covid-19, and has never sought to hold the spotlight or grab credit.

For weeks it has been Fauci who has countered the President's hype about possible treatments and vaccines with realism. An anti-malarial drug Trump feels good about will need "the kind of trial where you get the good information," Fauci said. A vaccine would be great, but won't arrive sooner than 12 to 18 months.

As he offers sober facts like these to counter President Trump's loose and emotional talk, Fauci performs some nearly miraculous feats. First, he manages to contradict the President without provoking his ire. Second, he gives the country reasonable hope. Lastly, he demonstrates what compassionate authority and grace under fire really look like.

You may be surprised to learn, as I was, that the nimble-minded, indefatigable Fauci is 79 years old. Daily exercise -- 3.5 miles of running or power-walking -- has blessed him with a level of fitness that puts many people decades younger to shame. A lifetime of engagement with high-level medical science seems to have kept his mind young in the same way.

However, it is Fauci's strong character that we sense when listening to him speak with care for both the facts and the human beings who now hang on his words.

"I'm very much of a people person but also I'm very analytical and very scientific," Fauci explained to Gupta on the CNN podcast. He recalled attending a Jesuit high school and college and noted that "the one theme always underlying our interactions was service to others." Put it together -- "science, I like people, service to others" -- and "that's medicine."

Listen to Fauci talk with Gupta one-on-one, physician-to-physician, and you hear how much he cares about the people and science he is supposed to serve. Free of the tension that the President brings to the White House briefings, the podcast conversation offers Fauci unfiltered. You can feel the affection and concern he expresses for every person he mentions and for the country he serves. You can also hear a mind on fire as he describes the puzzle of Covid-19's effects on those who contract it.

As Fauci says on the podcast, many people suffer only mild illness before recovering fully but some endure a shocking turn for the worse. Speaking of "the dynamics of the virus against our attempt to mitigate it" he observes that a patient can be doing well then "bingo, they're on a respirator. They're on ecmo (heart/lung treatment.) Then they're dead."

Fauci's tone is not callous but rather it echoes with the clinical fascination a general might feel for a persistent battlefield foe. "There's something there, Sanjay, that we're missing," he adds, "from the pathogenesis standpoint."

The tenacity that Fauci has displayed as a scientist was evident early in his life when, as a kid surrounded by Brooklyn Dodgers fanatics, he remained devoted to the Yankees. Though bookish, he worked construction during school vacations, and though slightly built, he was a fierce competitor on the basketball court.

These experiences helped him develop the skills that let him navigate around difficulty throughout his profession. He became fast friends with activists who at first vilified him during the AIDS crisis. Now he's forging a productive relationship with a President who, famously dismissive of experts and advisors, considers gut instinct to be his compass.

Somehow Fauci seems to have won President Trump's confidence even as he has corrected him in real time. In this way the doctor has served both the President and the country while maintaining his own credibility. Neither a toady nor an attention-seeker, he has put himself in the position to tell everyone the truth, even when it's hard to hear. Fauci has been the target of criticism from some on the far right who falsely accuse him of being politically opposed to Trump.

On the podcast Fauci agrees that in the federal response, "there probably were some missed opportunities." Considering how America has lagged behind South Korea and others, to say otherwise would be foolish.

But Fauci says he is more concerned about the future right now than the past.

When it's over, he hopes the country will make itself better prepared for the next public health threat. In the meantime, he'll lead, with a modesty and seriousness that is refreshing in this age of Trump.

"I'm doing everything I can," he says, "and I'm not alone."

West Lafayette
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 69°
Kokomo
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Rensselaer
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 68°
Fowler
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 68°
Williamsport
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 68°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 68°
Delphi
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 69°
Monticello
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 69°
Logansport
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 70°
Quiet Conditions After Yesterday's Storms.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74992

Reported Deaths: 3044
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15963725
Lake7632275
Elkhart488385
Allen3937163
St. Joseph354682
Hamilton2803104
Vanderburgh199713
Hendricks1901108
Cass17969
Johnson1767118
Porter133839
Clark124447
Tippecanoe122111
Madison98765
LaPorte92130
Howard90565
Kosciusko86212
Bartholomew80147
Floyd79146
Marshall79022
Monroe75930
Delaware73852
Dubois70012
Noble68429
Boone68346
Hancock67038
Vigo66810
Jackson5885
Warrick58630
LaGrange55910
Shelby55827
Grant52830
Dearborn50828
Morgan48334
Clinton4403
Henry38520
Wayne37710
White37210
Montgomery35421
Lawrence35027
Harrison34123
Decatur33832
Putnam2908
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25134
Jasper2452
Franklin24314
DeKalb2354
Gibson2284
Jennings22612
Steuben2113
Ripley2087
Carroll1932
Fayette1907
Perry18612
Starke1787
Posey1770
Orange17324
Wells1712
Wabash1703
Fulton1692
Jefferson1652
Knox1590
Whitley1546
Tipton14311
Washington1421
Spencer1363
Sullivan1341
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1234
Newton11810
Adams1022
Jay920
Owen911
Pulaski831
Rush804
Brown741
Fountain742
Blackford652
Ohio655
Benton620
Pike560
Vermillion550
Parke521
Switzerland520
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren231
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events