Anthony Fauci SuccessStory
With the world continuing to be ravaged by COVID-19, no other medical expert has been thrust into the spotlight than Dr. Anthony Fauci. A physician and immunologist for over four decades, Fauci is leading the fight against the Coronavirus and is currently the chief medical advisor of newly-elected U.S. President Joe Biden.
Anthony Stephen Fauci was born in Brooklyn in the state of New York, United States on December 24, 1940. He was born into a family of healthcare professionals as his father was a pharmacist while his mother worked at a pharmacy register. The said pharmacy was run by her husband and Fauci’s father who was a graduate of Columbia University.
Throughout most of his childhood, Fauci helped his parents run the pharmacy by delivering prescriptions to houses around the neighborhood. The pharmacy was located just beneath the family’s previous residence in the Bensonhurst area.
Fauci attended high school at Regis High School in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. He then attended at College of the Holy Cross where he graduated in 1962 and obtained a classics degree with a pre-medical track. He would further his education in the medical field by enrolling at Weill Cornell Medicine (formerly Cornell University), obtaining his doctor of medicine degree in 1966. He was first in his class upon graduation. In 1968, Fauci completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Fauci commenced his professional medical career at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Starting out as a clinical associate at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases's (NIAID) Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (LCI), he was eventually appointed as chief of NIAID's Laboratory of Immunoregulation in 1980. He would turn down numerous invitations to become the director of NIH and instead accepting the role of NIAID director in 1984, a role he holds up to this day.
In the 1970s even before he was the head of NIAID, Dr. Fauci and his colleagues (including his mentor Dr. Shelfon Wolff) had already developed a cure for vasculitis which is a rare inflammatory disease that attacks blood cells and shuts down organs. At the time, Fauci was also consulting cancer patients at the National Cancer Institute. He developed an idea that vasculitis patients who were having overactive immune systems could benefit from the powerful immune system-suppressing drugs that cancer patients were taking. The idea worked and the cure for vasculitis was eventually developed.
During the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, Fauci and his top disease research team were on their way on developing a cure for the highly communicable and fatal disease. Unfortunately, he drew flack from LGBTQ+ activitists citing that he wasn’t doing enough to control the spread of the disease. Fauci then decided to work with representatives from the community to create collaborative solutions. With the approval of then-President Ronald Raegan, Fauci increased the access of patients receiving experimental HIV/AIDS treatments.
Opening every clinical trial to more people wasn’t just limited to HIV/AIDS as Fauci’s efforts also paved the way government sanctioned-medical facilities handled clinical drug trials for various diseases. After Reagan, policies with regard to clinical trials have only become more patient-focused. Aside from increasing access to more people, transparency on the results of whatever trials being conducted have also become more stricter. “This new system (what began with the AIDS treatment) has changed medicine in America forever”, said Michael Specter from American editorial magazine The New Yorker.
In 2003, Philadelphia-based academic publishing service the Institute for Scientific Information announced that Fauci was the 13th most cited scientist between 1983 and 2002. The citations cover around two million authors from all over the globe having written published articles in scientific journals.
Chief Medical Advisor to President Donald Trump
During the onset of COVID in January 2020, Fauci was named one of the members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force under the administration of former President Donald Trump. He eventually became one of the key members of the task force as well as the president’s de-facto public health spokesperson.
Although the relationship between Fauci and Trump started on a right note, it wouldn’t last long as the two would continually struggle on what safety guidelines would be best applied around the country. The former (together with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention) had wanted the government to implement stricter protocols, particularly the wearing of masks in all public places as well as the imposing of longer home quarantine policies; both of which were rejected by the former president. By November 2020, the United States had become the country with the highest COVID cases in the world with over 100,000 infections and 1,000 deaths per day.
Fortunately, The conflict between Fauci and Trump didn’t stop the first batch of Coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech to roll out in the United States by the end of 2020. Two other American biotech companies, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, also began the deployment of their own vaccines a few months later. Of the three, the Pfixer vaccine has the highest efficacy rate (95%), followed by the Moderna vaccine (94%), and then Johnson & Johnson (78%).
Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden
Upon Biden’s inauguration as the 46th U.S. president at Washington D.C., narrowly beating Trump in the November 2020 national elections, he appointed Fauci as his chief medical advisor. Biden is the seventh president that Fauci had advised, beginning from Regan in the 1980’s to Obama in the 2000s and then currently to Biden in the 2020’s. "There are few public servants in our history who have served as long and as well and with as much distinction as Dr. Tony Fauci”, said White House chief of staff Ron Klain during Fauci’s appointment.
As of June 2021, data has revealed that over 45% of U.S. residents have completed their vaccination schedule. This also coincides with the significant drop of COVID cases in the country. Fauci has already indicated that those who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to wear masks in public but has nonetheless warned that the threat of COVID is still present especially with the delta variant possibly causing a new wave of infections. Various CDC COVID vaccine resources have all cited that the delta variant which originated from India is more contagious than the Wuhan (China) alpha variant.
Fauci was recently awarded the Public Welfare Medal by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Among his other accolades over the years include the 1979 Arthur Flemming Award, the 2008 Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the 2020 Time Magazine Guardian of the Year.
Fauci is married to Chrstine Grady since 1985. The two had met while working at NIH. Formerly designated as a nurse and bioethicist, Grady is now the chief of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. The two of have three daughters together: Megan, Jennifer, and Alison Fauci.
A true definition of a public servant despite working in the medical field, Anthony S. Fauci has built a career of lifting an entire country when medical emergencies arise. Even at the age of 80, there’s seems to be no stopping the renowned doctor in helping whatever and whenever way he can.