God Bless Doctor Fauci
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks at the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force at the White House, April 10, 2020.

Throughout America’s struggle with the coronavirus pandemic since late January, the nation has been blessed to have the benefit of the tranquil guidance of Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the last 36 years.
Fauci, 79, has selflessly served America through six presidential administrations. He has combatted an impressive array of viral epidemics: HIV, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), avian influenza, swine flu, Zika, Ebola and now the coronavirus. A humble man with a razor-sharp mind, Fauci has followed a mantra of serving the public as opposed to becoming engaged in politics, as he has advised Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama and now Trump.
“You stay completely apolitical and non-ideological and you stick to what it is that you do. I’m a scientist and I’m a physician. And that’s it,” Fauci explained to Michael Specter of The New Yorker. He learned the value of blunt honesty early in government service. “Some wise person who used to be in the White House, in the Nixon Administration, told me a very interesting dictum to live by. He said, ‘When you go into the White House, you should be prepared that that is the last time you will ever go in. Because if you go in saying, I’m going to tell somebody something they want to hear, then you’ve shot yourself in the foot.’ Now everybody knows I’m going to tell them exactly what’s the truth.”
From the earliest days of the public’s awareness of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, this dedicated healer has offered America a blunt prescription about the seriousness of the disease and the need for hygiene protocols. He has patiently explained the imperatives of social distancing, regular hand washing, wearing face masks and sheltering in place.
In his recent New Yorker profile, Specter described Fauci as follows:
“Americans have come to rely on Fauci’s authoritative presence. Perhaps not since the Vietnam era, when Walter Cronkite, the avuncular anchor of the CBS Evening News, was routinely described as the most trusted man in America, has the country depended so completely to deliver a daily dose of plain talk.”
A national poll in April found that 78% of participants approved of Fauci’s performance during the coronavirus briefings; 7% disapproved.
President George W. Bush awarded Fauci the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008. At the White House awards ceremony, the president noted that Fauci has “one flaw: Sometimes he forgets to stop working. He regularly puts in 80-hour weeks.”
Last week, Fauci warned the Senate’s Health Education, Labor and Pensions committee that he “would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 [new cases of coronavirus] a day if this does not turn around.” He added that Texas and other states had “skipped over” some of the guidelines on reopening, which have resulted in a steep spike in new cases.
“I’m very concerned,” he told the panel. “We’ve got to get the message out that we are all in this together.”
America has been blessed to have Fauci as its “Doctor-in-Chief” during the coronavirus. He is the model of a public servant, dedicated to eradicating disease and pestilence — low-key and humble.
Only days after Dr. Fauci’s testimony last week, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick excoriated him, claiming that the Lone Star State had not “skipped over” anything.
“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Patrick said of Fauci. “We haven’t skipped over anything. The only thing I’m skipping over is listening to him…He’s been wrong every time on every issue. I don’t need his advice anymore.”
Thankfully, the lieutenant governor is not the arbiter of whether or not America will continue to have the benefit of Dr. Fauci’s guidance. Though the White House Coronavirus Task Force has discontinued daily briefings in which Fauci participated, this steadfast public servant, a consummately dedicated physician, is actively fighting the coronavirus. The nation has benefited immeasurably from Dr. Fauci’s guidance.
And, we are better for it. Just last week, Governor Greg Abbott issued a statewide mask mandate as Texans scurried to cope with the surge in the coronavirus. County health departments have issued daily reports on spiking numbers over the last two weeks. Dedicated doctors, nurses, physicians’ assistants, respiratory therapists, and other medical professionals are displaying outstanding professionalism and dedication as they treat patients diagnosed with the disease.
“COVID-19 is not going away,” Abbott said. “In fact, it’s getting worse. Now, more than ever, action by everyone is needed until treatments are available for COVID-19.” The governor reiterated his opposition to a new stay-at-home order, but acknowledged what Dr. Fauci has stated regularly. “If you don’t go out, you are less likely to encounter someone who has COVID-19.”
How fortunate we are to have the skill and judgment of Dr. Fauci in the vanguard of the battle against the coronavirus. May Hashem bless him and all healers engaged in the struggle to conquer this horrific disease.
This editorial was originally published in the July 9 Jewish Herald-Voice and reprinted with permission.

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