The Nation’s Doctor

Dr. Anthony Fauci: The Nation’s Doctor
Dr. Anthony FauciThe transfer of power between President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden currently and will most definitely continue to make headlines in the future. As both sides ran their campaigns, multiple scandals, lies, and cover-ups, ran alongside them. Americans had grown tired of the election before it really even began. Then, as though some almighty force remembered it was 2020, our worst nightmare of a four-day election period came true. While some celebrated the outcome and others grumbled grievances, there was one function of the government that remained standing and more determined than ever to prevail over his own opponent. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a household name since March, will be continuing to advise our next president on the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

It may surprise people to learn exactly how long Dr. Fauci has been the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Appointed in 1984, he has overseen the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. During this time, he has sought to control the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Zika, tuberculosis, and malaria. Considered to be the 32nd most cited living researcher, Dr. Fauci has a long list of awards and honors to his name. This includes the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded to him in 2008 by President Bush “for his efforts to advance the understanding and treatment of HIV/AIDS”. As impressive as it has been to learn how Dr. Fauci has given his life to the research of deadly diseases, the current state of the pandemic causes his past accomplishments to tremble in its presence. Logging in almost six decades in the medical field, however, no one will argue that his experience with infectious diseases has been eclipsed by the grueling Coronavirus.

So how did Dr. Fauci become the prevalent researcher he is today? He was born on December 24, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York. That’s right, believe it or not he’s approaching his eightieth birthday, making him older than both our current president and president-elect. A young Anthony Fauci was the son of first generation Italian-American immigrants. His father was an independent pharmacist and naturally, he grew up working in the family pharmacy delivering prescriptions. After high school, Fauci went on to attend the College of Holy Cross as a premed major. A promising student, Fauci was accepted into New York City’s Cornell Medical College and would graduate first in his class in 1966. Soon after graduation Fauci accepted a position at the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and quickly made a name for himself through his innovative research. His successes propelled his professional career to new heights, first becoming the chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation in 1980, and later the Director of NIAID in 1984 under the Reagan administration.

During his first few years as the director of NIAID, Fauci was tasked with getting the HIV/AIDS crisis under control. He was eventually able to popularize an understanding of how HIV attacks the immune system; this caused the creation of drugs that would not only prolong HIV patients’ lives but give them the opportunity to lead active lives. While looking after his patients, Dr. Fauci met his future wife Christine Grady when he needed help translating a portuguese-speaking patient. They were married in 1985 and had three daughters.

After serving as the face of the AIDS pandemic, Fauci would return as the figurehead of the West Nile virus, the anthrax scare, SARS, Ebola, and the Swine Flu. Then in January 2020, as the world was first learning of the coronavirus outbreak in China, Fauci started assembling a research team to develop a vaccine. Early on, he had an understanding of just how bad COVID-19 could hit the United States, and would regularly challenge optimistic outlooks of the virus’ future. Today, he is thought of as the steady hand advising the American way of life. Not affiliated with a political party, Fauci has worked hard to maintain his non-partisan judgement when determining the country’s best course of action.

While Fauci may not be the most popular doctor in the country right now, he is doing his best to ensure the safety of the American people. If an encouraging message concerning the coronavirus was needed, one only needs to examine Fauci’s past successes with other diseases and trust that he will eventually be able to add “developed COVID-19 cure” to his resume.

By: Addie Hedges