Infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci celebrated his 80th birthday on Christmas Eve, and urged all Americans to stay at home on major holidays.
Dr. Anthony Fauci celebrated his 80th birthday on Christmas Eve, that is, 24 December. On his milestone birthday, he announced that he would be practicing what he preaches. Therefore, on his birthday and on Christmas Day, he had a quiet dinner with his wife, CNN reports. The couple also had a Zoom call with their children. Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, urged all American citizens to do the same. His message to everyone was loud and clear: "Curtail travel to the extent possible [and] don't congregate in large dinners and celebrations."
The night before his birthday, 3,000 people had succumbed to the deadly Coronavirus. And on his birthday, 120,000 Americans woke up in the hospital after contracting the disease. This was a record number for the pandemic. Therefore, his message was even more pertinent, particularly at a time when folks are going home for New Year's. "I really feel strongly that I need to practice what I preach to the country," he explained. "Although I would love very much to have my children, who live in different parts of the country, [to] come in together and have a celebration for my birthday and Christmas, I don't think that's the prudent thing to do, so I'll be having a quiet dinner with my wife, and we'll Zoom in the children."
After a tough year of continuous social distancing and self-isolation, encouraging people to stay away from their families during the holidays was a tough ask, Dr. Fauci admitted. He, too, felt it was deeply unfortunate. He said, "I definitely feel sad. I have three daughters, ranging in age from late 20s to early 30s, [and] this is the first holiday season of Christmas and my birthday that I have not spent with my daughters since they were born. So, [it] is sad, but we all have tried to take an upbeat attitude." He and his family are motivated to continue doing what is best for their communities by the idea of a big family reunion at the end of the pandemic. "Next year hopefully at this time, we'll have a real in-person celebration with a lot of hugs that we can't do right now," the infectious diseases expert shared. "We'll look forward to better times." The family hopes to "make the best out of it" when the better times arrive.
According to Dr. Fauci, the pandemic was one of his worst nightmares come true. He stated, "A brand new virus that emerges, likely out of an animal reservoir, that's respiratory born, that has the capability of spreading very, very, very efficiently among humans, and that has a high degree of morbidity and mortality. That had been my worst nightmare, but you don't anticipate or expect your worst nightmare to come true." Since the nightmare first started to unfold, he has not taken a single day off. He claimed he worked 18 hours, seven days a week. Right now, he only sees the challenge the country is currently facing. He affirmed, "I think that sooner or later I'm going to have to [retire]. I don't see that right now clearly in my future."