America’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, ditched his go-to tie and face mask for a recent magazine photo shoot.
Fauci and his wife, bioethicist Dr. Christine Grady, sat down with journalist Norah O’Donnell for an interview that will be featured in the September issue of InStyle.
Fauci has become somewhat of a household name as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, a near-constant feature on television sets as a member of the White House task force assembled to advise on the crisis.
In the interview, Fauci explained he’s been dealing with a lot of pressure during the pandemic. He said exercise is a big part of his routine. The 79-year-old power walks 3 ½ miles each day.
“I used to say ‘run,’ but I don’t run very much anymore because at the end of the run, various parts of my body hurt so much,” he said. “Power walking is very enjoyable and relaxing, and we look forward to it.”
He added one of his three adult daughters came to stay with them for a few months and brought her dog.
“That was fantastic. Not only to see her but to have the dog,” he laughed. “That gave us a lot of mental health.”
Of course, Fauci has become somewhat of a politicized figure amid the pandemic and is often at odds with the Trump administration. In recent days, the White House has seemingly tried to distance and even discredit Fauci.
Over the weekend, an official in the administration gave news outlets a list of nearly a dozen past comments by Fauci that the official said had ultimately proven erroneous, adding "several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things."
President Donald Trump has also regularly insisted the country is “doing great” while Fauci has disagreed and faulted the decision in some states to reopen too quickly — sidestepping the task force's suggested criteria for when it's safe to do so.
In the interview for InStyle, Fauci explained his relationship with Trump is “complicated.”
“Because in some respects I have a very good relationship with him,” he said. “During the times that I was seeing him a fair amount, it was quite a collegial relationship. And in many respects, it probably still is, but I don’t see him very much anymore.”
“Sometimes you say things that are not widely accepted in the White House, and that’s just a fact of life.”
He also added he is hopeful about a vaccine for the coronavirus that could be deemed safe and effective by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021, “if all goes well.”
“The companies … promise that as we get into 2021, there’ll be an ample supply because they’re going to start making the doses imminently,” he said. “By the beginning of the year, we should have the first tens millions and then hundreds of millions of doses. That being the case, I would think we could vaccinate a substantial portion of the population as we get into 2021 — if the vaccine is safe and effective.”
The cover interview will be featured in InStyle’s September issue, which hits newsstands on Aug. 21.