Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading immunologist and a key member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus response team, did have some comforting words for those celebrating Easter on Sunday: faith is a key element in confronting and addressing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Washington Examiner.
In a wide-ranging interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that included some harsh words for the Trump administration, particularly with regards to the timeline for instituting stay-at-home orders designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Fauci admitted that his own faith has given him hope in a time of crisis.
“I think faith means different things to different people. People with a strong foundation in faith, I think it’s very, very important when you go through serious, really terrible ordeals that the country is going through, I think faith helps people through this,” Fauci said.
Fauci called his father “a man of deep, deep faith” — Fauci was raised a Catholic, but did not note whether he is still practicing — and told Tapper that his father’s faith was an inspiration.
“His faith was just extraordinary. I was always in awe of him. I think that there are many, many people that way,” Fauci said. “So, faith is a good thing.”
Faith is particularly helpful in handling the stress brought on by the pandemic, Fauci told Tapper, and maintaining hope that the country will return to normal.
Although Fauci remains concerned about the spread of coronavirus and particularly the growing death toll, which topped 20,000 this weekend, he expressed some optimisim in his “State of the Union” interview, suggesting that New York and other hard-hit states appear to be “flattening the curve” and that it seems that New York City, the epicenter of the American pandemic, is finally seeing a decrease in coronavirus-related diagnoses, hospital admissions, and even deaths from the virus.
“It’s started to turn a corner… it’s cautious optimism that we are seeing that decrease. Once you turn that corner, hopefully we will see a very sharp decline. Then you can start thinking about how we can keep it that way and prevent it from re-surging,” Fauci said.
He also suggested, for the first time, that the United States could be close to re-opening some aspects of society.
“I think it could probably start at least in some ways maybe next month,” Fauci added. “We are hoping by the end of the month we can look around and say, ‘OK, is there any element here that we can safely and cautiously start pulling back on.’ If so, do it. If not, then just continue to hunker down.”
The White House said last week that it hopes to begin opening some parts of the economy on May 1st and President Donald Trump is expected to announce the official formation of a second coronavirus task force, charged with charting a path out of coronavirus-related lockdowns. The president admitted, in press conferences last week, that there is a need to balance the advice of doctors to “hunker down” against the economic needs of Americans, a record number of whom are currently out of work.