Dr. Anthony Fauci, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases.
The 79-year-old, Brooklyn-born physician and scientist has spent the last 36 years as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and has worked under six presidents.
He is, by all accounts, the right man for the job.
Fauci is a pioneer in Rheumatology, he developed groundbreaking treatments for HIV/AIDS, and is now researching a potential coronavirus vaccine that just reached the human clinical trial phase on Monday.
The trial, which will test the effects of an experimental vaccine shot, won’t make use of either an active or inactive sample of the virus, as is common for vaccines, but will instead use a gene-based method to trigger an immune response in individuals, TechCrunch reports. (Dozens of other companies are also testing vaccines across the world.)
Experts say it will take 12-18 months to produce and distribute an effective vaccine, according to the Associated Press.
Fauci, who is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, estimates the final case fatality rate will likely be closer to 1% instead of the 2% initially estimated by the World Health Organization, which is still ten times the 0.1% rate for the seasonal flu.
On Sunday, he appeared on major news networks, saying the U.S. outbreaks are going to get worse before they get better.
It’s times like these that bring us back to the blistering challenges and seemingly insurmountable odds of the past, and we remind ourselves of how we persevered each and every time.
With Italian-Americans like Fauci leading the charge, we’ll make it out OK; we just need to focus on taking care of ourselves, and one another.