Dr. Anthony Fauci can count Julia Roberts among his famous fans.
Roberts sat down with Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for a video interview as part of the "Pass the Mic" initiative.
The One Campaign, a global organization campaigning to end poverty and preventable disease, produces the effort, which features celebrities turning their social media accounts to global health experts to discuss the coronavirus pandemic.
“How rad that we have maybe the coolest man on the planet right now," the 52-year-old actress said before Fauci joined her. "Wow, this is intense.”
“Oh, this is such a thrill,” Roberts added after the 79-year-old medical director sat down with her. "This is a thrill for me because there are very few experts of anything in the world and you truly have emerged as a personal hero for me. Just to have this little corner of your time for us is such a joy."
Fauci explained that his response and recommendations are based on scientific evidence and not opinion.
"The scientific evidence clearly indicates that physical separation has worked but not completely," Fauci explained. "If you look at the curves in our country, it isn't like everything is dramatically going down."
"New York got hit very badly but they’re starting to come down now. Now is not the time to tempt fate and pull back completely," he continued.
Roberts next inquired about the situation in developing countries, which will have a much harder time coping with the pandemic.
"We have a moral responsibility for people in the developing world," he told her. "They should not suffer more just because of where they happened to have been born or where they happen to live. The world, including the developing world, is going to get by this when we get good therapies and a good vaccine."
He added, "We need to make a commitment right now that when we do vaccine trials, we need to include the developing world in those vaccine trials. We can't do a vaccine trial only for ourselves and only know how well it works in ourselves. We've got to do it and include them."
Roberts noted that when Fauci spoke, he said "we."
"I love that when you're talking about the developing world you say 'we,' that if we don't look at this as one world fighting this together then we really won't get a handle on it the way that we have to," she said.
As the two wrapped up their chat, Roberts told Fauci, "Golly, you’re really like my personal hero right now. Dr. Fauci, take good care."
After Fauci signed off, Roberts mouthed the words "Oh my God" to the camera, obviously shaken by her brief encounter with the doctor.