This past Wednesday, the NIH announced that Dr. Anthony Fauci has tested positive for COVID-19. Dr. Fauci has been leading the U.S. COVID-19 response since early days of the pandemic, and this appears to be his first time getting personal experience with the virus.
According to the NIH, Dr. Fauci is “fully vaccinated and has been boosted twice,” and was experiencing mild symptoms as of his positive antigen test. This is great news, and I hope that his symptoms remain mild (truly mild, not just non-hospitalized mild), and he has a swift recovery.
But then we get to a more concerning line in the press release: “Dr. Fauci will isolate and continue to work from his home.” Why is he continuing to work? By all accounts, rest is important for recovering from COVID-19 and avoiding long-term symptoms. This is especially crucial for Dr. Fauci, as someone who’s older (and therefore at higher risk).
When top-tier government health officials work through COVID-19, they set a dangerous precedent for all the people looking to them for guidance. Anne Helen Peterson wrote about this in Culture Study recently; it’s a good read, especially for those who hold positions of power in their workplaces.
I hope Dr. Fauci gets some rest—he would deserve a break even if he didn’t have COVID-19.