The man is not. His assessment that we will live with Covid-19 for many years to come is a startling admission from the infectious disease expert who said the country could flatten the curve and achieve herd immunity.
The coronaviruses upended those plans. With his career winding down, Fauci wants to help repair the national bonds that the Pandemic shredded. Donald Trump was his nemesis in the first year of the Pandemic.
Fauci is from the Brooklyn-born area. Two guys from New York, different in their opinions and ideology, but still, they are both from the same place. I believe that we are related to each other.
Fauci insists that he is prepared for the onslaught of attacks that could come in a Republican-controlled House or Senate next year, with many running in the midterms on campaigns deriding the lockdowns, school closings and masking requirements that Fauci said were necessary prophylactic precautions.
They are going to try and get me. He admitted that it would probably be less if he were not in the job. In my career decision, I don't consider that.
Fauci will stress the importance of vaccines and boosters, but acknowledge that there may never be a definitive moment when the country can claim victory over an evolving virus that has killed more than one million Americans and left thousands with long Covid symptoms.
Vaccination, acquired immunity and less-deadly strains have slowed the disease. It kills more than 300 Americans a day, and the fear of a deadlier variant is still present.
Fauci thinks we are almost at a steady state.
The next phase of the epidemic.
Federal officials last week said all adults should get a second booster shot now, despite pharmaceutical companies estimating that updated shots targeting the latest strains could be available this fall.
Fauci expressed cautious optimism that the original regimen and one booster could be enough. Now, amid what Fauci says is a combination of fast-evolving variant and stagnant vaccine rates, Americans are left wondering when this cycle ends.
Fauci said that the question was a reasonable one. We are not in a lull, so the reason not to wait is.
There are more than 130,000 documented Covid-19 cases a day, a figure that officials and public health experts say could be as much as four or five times lower than the actual number of infections.
Fauci said, "I think, although I don't know for certain, we'll be getting towards a once a year boost, like flu."
Even with the hope of moving to a flu shot-like schedule, that speed, with new strains sometimes becoming dominant in a matter of weeks, has made vaccine developers cringe.
The data for updated, Omicron-targeting vaccines was presented to the FDA by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna in June. More than half of the U.S. cases were already accounted for by Omicron subvariants. The timelines would be pushed through the fall if the shots were reformulated.
Fauci said it was difficult to develop vaccines for the next dominant coronaviruses strain because of their fast pace. He predicted that a more regular vaccine schedule could take anywhere from six months to two years.
Fauci goes from here to somewhere else.
Is anyone listening anymore?
Fauci admits that some people rejected his recommendations. Americans are tired of beingferential to experts.
Fauci said that it is becoming more and more difficult to get people to listen. He insists that doesn't mean giving up. I try to convince them that they are not being asked to change their lifestyles. We don't want you to interfere with what you do. We just want you to think about some simple, doable solutions.
The methods have been involved in battles. The Biden administration's vaccine-or-test mandates have been struck down by federal courts. Republican vaccine rates have waned. Less than half of eligible Americans have received a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Only 30 percent of children between five and 11 years old are fully vaccine free.
Sitting in his office in March 2020, days before a federal lock down would all but end in-person meetups for months, Fauci pondered that partisan divides over the coronaviruses response were already more visceral than the early battles of the HIV/ AIDS epidemic.
Fauci is focused on how to reestablish trust in the science that led his decisions after being asked about what has changed in two years.
The Covid-19 response and his leadership were called into question by Republicans in Congress. Be my guest if you want to look into that. What are you going to do about that?
The coronaviruses response is not what he wants his legacy to be. Fauci points to the NIAID director role in 1984 as an example of how the virus led him into research.
He pointed out that the work always had bipartisan support. Trump promised in his State of the Union address to end America's HIV epidemic. The federal government has an HIV/AIDS strategy. The State Department estimates that the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has saved 21 million lives.
The treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS has changed since Fauci started work. People with HIV can get injections every few months to prevent transmission. Fauci says that an HIV vaccine is unlikely to be available for many years.
Tony Fauci said he doesn't think there is anything else he can do except leave an institution where he has picked the best people in the country. We have enough good people that could carry it on and I don't need to be there for that.