Dr. Anthony Fauci on the Fight Against COVID-19: "There’s No Room to Give Up – You Just Have to Keep Going"
The nation’s top doctor reveals his personal side and how he’s coped during the fight against COVID-19 in this year's People of the Year issue.
The birthday well wishes are pouring in for Dr. Anthony Fauci!
As the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases turned 80 on Thursday, President-elect Joe Biden and soon-to-be First Lady Dr. Jill Biden sent a sweet clip of themselves singing "Happy Birthday" to Fauci. Dr. Biden, 69, posted the audio recording on her Twitter page.
After the pair finished singing the song in unison, Biden, 78, is heard saying, "Hey pal, happy birthday, it's Joe and Jill Biden."
Speaking with the Washington Post about turning 80 years old, Fauci said "there is no option to get tired," adding: "There is no option to sit down and say 'I'm sorry, I've had enough.' I'm gonna dig deep and just suck it up."
Earlier this month, Fauci was named one of PEOPLE's People of the Year 2020, and opened up about entering the public spotlight in a major way during the pandemic. The health official will continue his role of advising the White House on coronavirus matters during the Biden administration.
"It's surrealistic and, in some respects, nice and amusing," Fauci said of fame. "But you can’t take that stuff seriously and start to think you’re a celebrity. When you start to think that, then you get into trouble. I’m a physician. I’m a scientist. And I’m a public health official."
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Earlier this month, Fauci explained how he had no hesitation in agreeing to stay on as chief medical adviser for the Biden administration’s COVID team, a similar role to the one Fauci had been sidelined from in President Donald Trump’s administration this year.
"I said yes right on the spot," Fauci told the Today show.
Fauci was never officially fired from his role in the Trump administration, though the president publicly threatened to remove the longtime government scientist from his NIAID post and broke off communication with the health official for weeks at a time during the pandemic.
Fauci and Biden are already united on prevention efforts, with the health official telling Today he agrees with Biden’s proposal to enforce a 100-day mask-wearing mandate across the country once the president-elect takes office in late January. Fauci said simply, "it’s a good idea."