BB's Dr. Larry Corey, left, leads a "fireside chat" with Dr. Anthony Fauci at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
President Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci joined BBI’s Dr. Larry Corey August 9 in an engaging conversation covering their work together on HIV-AIDS starting in the 1980s, as well as sharing insights on the coronavirus, monkeypox, and other significant public health issues.
The nearly 90-minute event was held at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center where Corey, an internationally known expert on vaccines and infectious diseases, serves as a professor as well as president emeritus.
In welcoming Fauci, UW Medicine Interim CEO Dr. Timothy H. Dellit reflected back to February of 2020 when “through the Seattle Flu Study, which was a collaboration through the Brotman Baty Institute, a partnership with the Fred Hutch, the University of Washington, and Seattle Children’s, we identified what we thought at the time was a first transmission within the community of COVID.”
Some highlights of the interview included Corey asking Fauci about his role in the pandemic and the related “Fauci effect,” in which the 81-year-old physician/researcher is credited for inspiring a new generation of students interested medical and biological research. Fauci downplayed his personal influence and commented on what he symbolizes to many – the truth and integrity of science.
“People are craving consistency, for integrity, and for people caring about people.…” he said. “The other side of the coin… is the abuse that public health officials get for saying the truth… physicians, public health officials are getting harassed and threatened. That’s really horrible for public health when you have physicians and public health official get harassed, their families get harassed because they’re telling people to do things like getting vaccinated or wear a mask.”
In discussing federal funding for research, Corey asked, “Should researchers and future scientists feel insecure?” Fauci, clearly, is optimistic on the subject.
“We have been fortunate in that there has been bipartisan support for research consistently for as long as I have been (in Washington, DC),” he said. “Even with a great degree of divisiveness politically in our society and in the Congress that people can agree on the importance of biomedical research, which is the reason the NIH budget and other science organizations’ budgets continued to increase and grow. I don’t see that necessarily changing.”
To watch the entire “fireside chat” with Corey and Fauci, visit: https://www.youtube.com/c/fredhutch/videos