74-yr-old Dr. Fauci treating Ebola patients in 2015 exemplifies his genuine leadership
Nearly a decade after the average American retires from their careers and choose to live a more leisurely life, Dr. Anthony Fauci was battling a deadly disease outbreak. And he wasn't just acting as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (which was his actual job), or sitting at a desk crunching numbers and making models. He was suiting up to treat an a patient with Ebola—a disease with a mortality rate of around 50%—for two hours a day, even though he didn't have to.
Why did he do it? Because he wanted to show his staff that he wouldn't ask them to do anything he wasn't willing to do himself. He also told Science, "I do believe that one gets unique insights into disease when you actually physically interact with patients."
That is what genuine, trusted leadership looks like, and is one of hundreds of examples of why Dr. Fauci has been one of the most well-respected experts in infectious disease in the world for decades.
Experts: It is too risky for a doctor who 74 years old to treat an Ebola patient! Dr Fauci: Hold my beer 🍺 ➡️ Fa… https://t.co/NLrMu8G0bC— Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding) 1594927205.0
Dr. Fauci has served the United States under six presidents, from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump. In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush for his work on the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
In his remarks praising Dr. Fauci, Bush pointed out that Fauci still quoted the wisdom he received at the Jesuit high school he attended (where he had won a full scholarship)—"Precision of thought, economy of expression," then added, "And now you know why he never ran for public office."
Dr. Anthony Fauci Receives The Presidential Medal Of Freedomwww.youtube.com
It was a joke, but that statement basically sums up Dr. Fauci's career. Meticulous attention to the science. Saying what needs to be said, nothing more and nothing less. And always rising above the partisan political fray. Dr. Fauci has faithfully served under both Republicans and Democrats, earning a reputation on the international stage for his professionalism and expertise.
Anyone trying to discredit the 79-year-old scientist has literally decades of highly respected work to contend with, no matter what kinds of inconsistencies they claim to have gotten from Dr. Fauci. Information during a novel virus outbreak is naturally going to change frequently, as doctors and scientists have to learn about what the virus is and isn't, what works on it and what doesn't, how it spreads and how we might limit the spread, in real time. That kind of uncertainty—which is the nature of a novel virus pandemic—opens the door to silly political accusations of "flip flopping" from people who either don't understand how science works or who want to use people's ignorance for their own gain. And Dr. Fauci has always been clear that information is evolving and that no one is an expert in this particular virus, because it's brand new.
No human being is perfect, of course, but there are certain individuals at the top of every field whose work speaks for itself, who maintain a level of integrity that is beyond reproach, and who manage to avoid the pitfalls of politics. People who have worked with Dr. Fauci have shared their experiences with him, and it's hard to find one from a non-political source that isn't glowing in its assessment.
Tony Fauci is one of the finest people I ever came across in government — he’s given his entire career to the missi… https://t.co/QQhxF5dhZa— Tony Fratto (@Tony Fratto) 1594811005.0
@LukeMessac @TopherSpiro In the mid 90s, I worked for a biotech newsletter. Fauci was every reporter’s favorite sou… https://t.co/xwS0k1uIVP— Daren Wang (@Daren Wang) 1594922920.0
@marklewismd He gave a presentation last year at Hopkins on ending HIV. It was brilliant. The way he moved from soc… https://t.co/vl7E7sqjyM— Renee M Johnson, PhD, MPH (@Renee M Johnson, PhD, MPH) 1594901846.0
The Lincoln Project, a Republican group working to oust Trump from the White House in November, even shared an ad that shows how Dr. Fauci's reputation has been stellar for decades.
@EricTrump New from Lincoln Project. You can trust Dr. Fauci. We can't trust Donald Trump. https://t.co/VrYAXHkL3G— Paul the other one, it's got bells on it. (@Paul the other one, it's got bells on it.) 1594815487.0
We've become so accustomed to attacks on people in politics that it almost seems normal, but there's nothing normal about attempts to discredit a lifelong public servant and medical expert like Dr. Fauci. Unless you've voluntarily donned a hazmat suit to treat a patient with a disease that has a high likelihood of killing you, and unless you have decades of experience in infectious disease research, you've got no room to criticize Dr. Fauci or his work. The gentleman is as close to above reproach as they come, and we need his precision of thought and honest truth-telling now more than ever.
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