After being selected as a possible contender for TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been included among PEOPLE magazine’s list of “People of the Year.”
Included among the likes of George Clooney and Regina King, the magazine hailed Fauci as the “doctor America needed in 2020.”
“Dr. Anthony Fauci stepped up to be the doctor America needed in 2020, providing steady guidance during the pandemic,” said PEOPLE. “Even though he and his family were getting death threats, he continued to be out front, reassuring us during turbulent times with his devoted public service, unflappable common sense, and life-saving leadership”
“A hard year? Yes. But we’re coming out stronger,” the magazine added.
As reported by The Hill, Fauci told PEOPLE that he stayed focus during the pandemic by grabbing himself by “bootstraps” and just doing it.
“You stay focused because you just do it. You dig deep, you grab yourself by the bootstraps and you say you’ve got to do it,” he said. “There’s no other alternative because if you don’t do it you’re going to fail, and failure isn’t an option. So there’s no room at all to get distracted, and there’s no room at all to give up. You just have to keep going.”
Fauci also lamented how the “divisiveness” among Americans “makes it much more difficult to address a public health outbreak.”
“When you have an outbreak, everyone needs to pull together because everyone is in it together. When you have obvious sharp differences, politically and otherwise, that gets in the way of a unified response,” he said. “I mean I’ve been doing this for 36 years as director of the institute. I’ve seen disagreements. I’ve seen political issues get in the way over the 36 years, but I’ve never seen the extent of the divisiveness which leads to hostility against public health measures.”
Fauci also praised Brad Pitt’s brief impression of him on “Saturday Night Live” earlier this year.
“I think he did a great job. I actually did. It was at a time when I had a vocal cord polyp, and my voice, I sounded like Vito Corleone in ‘The Godfather,’ and he did a great job of imitating me with that. He did a pretty good job with the Brooklyn accent too,” Fauci said.
Dr. Fauci recently stated that schools should start to reopen soon, noting that the spread of COVID-19 among them is relatively small.
“The default position should be to try as best as possible, within reason, to keep the children in school, to get them back to school,” Fauci told ABC on Sunday. “If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not very big at all, not like one would have suspected. So let’s try to get the kids back. But let’s try to mitigate the things that maintain and push the kind of community spread we are trying to avoid. And those are the things you know well. The bars, the restaurants … those are the things that drive the community spread. Not the schools.”