Anthony Fauci: Human of the Moment
Growing up in Brooklyn, little Anthony Fauci, descendant of those brave Italian pioneers, was inspired by the work of his father, a pharmacist. Seeing hard-working old dad whip up remedies to cure what ailed the sickly of New York, Anthony bethought himself, “What if, when I grow up, I could cure what ailed the whole country?” It was then that the youngster decided to become an immunologist — or at least to find out what an immunologist was.
As a young man, Fauci took a position as a clinical associate in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. That was in 1968, and at time of writing in 2020, allergies and infectious diseases still, according to most reputable reports, exist. Because of this, many consider Fauci has failed in his mission to wipe disease from the face of the Earth. However, numerous other good judges believe he’s done OK, given that, all in all, eradicating all known disease is a pretty big ask.
In particular, it is said that Fauci has been one of the leading lights in developing understanding of regulation of the human immune response. In other words, he’s revealed much about the ways in which the human body fights disease on its own, which just proves what a great American he is. For what better sums up the American spirit than the idea of a sick body pulling itself up by its bootstraps and fighting off its illness — just as the Minutemen fought off the hated British? Dr. Fauci understood instinctively that white blood cells are the entrepreneurs of the body, and he has worked for a lifetime to help them be all they can be, cutting the red tape that holds back so many promising immune responses.
For what better sums up the American spirit than the idea of a sick body pulling itself up by its bootstraps and fighting off its illness — just as the Minutemen fought off the hated British?
Some of Fauci’s most notable work was done during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, when despite working for President Ronald Reagan, he maintained consistently that AIDS was a thing. He came in for criticism from those who disagreed with the government’s approach to the crisis, being dubbed an “incompetent idiot” by activist Larry Kramer. Yet years later, Kramer would come to say Fauci was “the only true and great hero” of government officials during the epidemic. This proves a very pertinent fact: Larry Kramer was an extremely indecisive man. Also, Fauci was pretty good at doctoring.
In more recent times, Dr. Fauci has, of course, become well-known for his role on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the body established by President Donald Trump to determine whether keeping people alive is the best response to COVID-19, or whether a less life-centric approach is maximal. Fauci has worked tirelessly to fight the scourge of the coronavirus, despite the fact that he is turning 80 this year and should really be in bed.
In his current job, Fauci has been subjected to harsh criticism from many quarters, including not only conspiracy nuts with Twitter accounts, but conspiracy nuts with Twitter accounts and jobs at the White House. Yet he has never wavered in his determination to prove to the world that coronavirus is not only real, but not a great thing to get. As a man who has gone to college, read a hell of a lot of books, and looked through microscopes at nasty little things that live in our bodies, it might be wise to take his word for it.
But even if you disagree with Fauci’s controversial “curing disease” model of modern medicine, one can’t help but admire the persistence and drive that brought fame and fortune to a humble kid from Brooklyn who saw his father dish out pills and thought, “The sky’s the limit.”
You can always find some insanely dry reading at the official NIAID site. You can get some truly depressing news about the world and America’s place in it as a statistical matter by viewing WorldOMeter, which has a lot of interesting things when we are not in the middle of a pandemic too. … Honestly, though, just appreciating the Pets here will be a lot less stressful.