His official title is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health — but his job covers so much more. Dr. Anthony Fauci is also the country’s top infectious diseases expert, and one of the leading voices in our fight to get the coronavirus pandemic under control.
While we suspect that Dr. Fauci may be more than a bit busy these days, he has made it clear that there are a few things he has no intention of doing, even if he had the downtime. He tells Marketwatch that he “wasn’t going to restaurants right now,” but if you really had to go out, “indoors is much worse than outdoors. If you’re going to go to a restaurant, try as best as you can to have outdoor seating that is properly spaced between the tables.”
In spite of this being what technically should be summer vacation, there’s one other thing Dr. Fauci isn’t doing either — and that’s hopping on an airplane.
Dr. Fauci says no to flights right now
When asked whether he might be interested in taking any trans-Atlantic trips, Dr. Fauci tells Marketwatch that: “Well, the answer is ‘no’ for the following reason: I am in a risk category. I don’t like to admit it, but I’m 79 years old. I can’t think of a reason to go trans-Atlantic. Right now, I’m very sequestered. I’m on a coronavirus task force. I go to the White House almost every day.”
“I spend half a day in my office trying to develop a vaccine and drugs for COVID-19, and that’s really what I need to do. I don’t fancy seeing myself getting infected, which is a risk when you’re getting on a plane, particularly with the amount of infection that’s going on right now,” he says.
Dr. Fauci’s reluctance to go into either enclosed spaces echoes a study published by the National Academy of Sciences. “These observations confirm that there is a substantial probability that normal speaking causes airborne virus transmission in confined environments,” per the journal PNAS.
Dr. Fauci says America is still in the first wave of the virus
Dr. Fauci had a grim prognosis in the same interview, where he said he wouldn’t eat out or travel on planes: He noted America isn’t experiencing a second wave of the virus — it’s still in the grip of the first. “We are still in a pretty big first wave. You talk about the possibility of a second wave when you’ve gone down to baseline and there aren’t too many new infections,” he tells Marketwatch.
That said, he is hopeful of the chance to discover a vaccine before the end of the year or sometime in the first two months of 2021. And other than avoiding flights and restaurants, Dr. Fauci suggests a flu shot this fall might be in order to help keep you healthy.
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