WASHINGTON – It was probably only a matter of time.
Dr. Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical advisor for the coronavirus pandemic, has tested positive for the virus and is experiencing “mild symptoms,” the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Wednesday.
Dr. Fauci, director of the institute, tested positive for a rapid antigen test, the agency said in a statement. She added that he had been fully vaccinated against the virus and had been boosted twice. A spokeswoman for the agency said he is taking baxlovid, an antiviral treatment from Pfizer approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat COVID-19.
news that dr. Fauci, one of the world’s leading infectious disease specialists and a household name thanks to the pandemic, has fallen victim to the coronavirus that has reverberated across Washington and the country. The positive test was the first for Dr. Fauci, 81 years old.
But with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that more than half of Americans have contracted Covid-19, it’s hardly the only known patient. Xavier Becerra, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, tested positive for the virus on Monday for the second time in less than a month. California Democratic Representative Maxine Waters, 83, announced Tuesday that she tested positive. I did that too in April.
Dr. Fauci was not in close contact with Mr. And the statement from his institute said that Biden or other senior government officials recently “will isolate his home and will continue to work in it.” He will return to his office as soon as a negative result comes out.
But it was public. The AIDS Clinical Trials Group—a network of hundreds of researchers who conduct studies to improve treatment for HIV and related infections—meeting in Washington this week, Dr. Fauci, whose laboratory work has focused on HIV/AIDS, addressed the group in person on Tuesday.
Along with other top federal health officials, Dr. Fauci is expected to testify Thursday before the Senate Health Committee on the state of the pandemic. An official said that Dr. The Fauci Institute was working with committee members to arrange a remote appearance.
While much of the nation appears to be trying to move forward, the coronavirus remains a pervasive threat. According to the New York Times database, more than 100,000 new cases are still identified each day in the United States – a number that has remained roughly flat through June. Many experts believe the number is underestimated because many people take home tests that have not been registered with public health authorities.
While cases are declining in the Northeast and Midwest, cases and hospitalizations are increasing in the West and South. Mortality reports, however, remain low. Less than 350 deaths are reported each day, the Times database shows, down from more than 2,600 deaths per day at the peak of Omicron’s surge.
Dr. Fauci spent half a century in government and advised seven presidents, beginning with Ronald Reagan, on pandemic and pandemic threats.
But the coronavirus pandemic turned him into a political thunderbolt. His public urging to take health precautions such as wearing masks and social distancing has made him a frequent target of critics who have questioned or opposed such measures.
He probably knows more than anyone else how transmissible the coronavirus is. This spring, he decided not to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner — a gathering of prominent figures in the political and news media at which the president appeared — “because of my individual assessment of my personal risks,” he said at the time. At that time, Dr. Fauci was preparing for other public engagements, including graduation speeches at Princeton University and the University of Michigan.
The Correspondents’ Dinner, which drew more than 2,000 guests to a crowded hotel banquet hall, ended up spreading the virus among many journalists and other journalists.
“It is only a matter of time before we all get sick, frankly; this virus becomes transmissible,” Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease specialist at Emory University, said Wednesday. “What I tell people is that you will face this virus at some point, because we are doing more things and getting together. And if you are going to face the virus, you better get vaccinated and strengthened.”