Dr. Fauci Said He Hasn’t Had A Day Off In 14 Months: “I’ll Worry About That Later”
“The problem is too immense,” Fauci told NowThis. “I don't have any time to worry about how tired I am or how I’m feeling.”
As the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci has been the voice of science throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and he said he hasn’t stopped working in months.
In a recent interview with NowThis, Fauci talked about working “24/7” during the COVID-19 crisis, which the World Health Organization first declared a pandemic in March 2020. President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser said despite the death threats he has continued to receive and the intensity of the past year, he’s “doing fine.”
“I haven't had a day off in 14 months,” said Fauci, 80, who has served seven presidents throughout his career as an epidemiologist. “You just adapt yourself to it. The problem is too immense and there's too [many] implications. We've lost 560,000 people in America from this tragic pandemic. So I don't have any time to worry about how tired I am or how I’m feeling. I’ll worry about that later.”
Fauci, who is also the director of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has faced intense opposition from Republican leaders, including former President Donald Trump and his followers, along with right-wing media hosts including Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
Despite the negativity, Fauci has stayed focused; particularly on vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. after federal agencies recommended a pause on the Johnson & Johnson shot due to multiple cases of rare blood clots reported in recipients. But Fauci notes that the pause was mostly out of an abundance of caution and to alert physicians on how to properly treat these rare reactions. More than 7 million people in the U.S. have gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“When we say a vaccine is safe, you can be absolutely sure it's safe because one: that's a one in a million we're pausing,” Fauci said. “So I think it might actually fortify the concept of how seriously we take safety and how the system actually works. That's the reason why they decided to temporarily pause this until they could investigate it more.”
Fauci also said a growing number of people who wanted to “wait and see” are now getting the vaccine.
“The more and more people that get vaccinated, the ‘wait and see’ people percentage gets less and less because they see, as we go into this, things are looking really good,” Fauci said.
The infectious disease expert also said Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are working to make sure the vaccines are safe in children, and he anticipates that children of any age will be able safely get vaccinated by the end of 2021 and early 2022.
“We've got to do everything we can by pulling together to end this terrible pandemic. And we can't be fighting with each other and disagreeing with each other. We've got to pull together to end this,” he said.