Chamblee54

Anthony Stephen Fauci

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 26, 2020


@maggieNYT “White House officials say they’ve given Fauci a lot of room to do interviews amid concerns he was being muted. But they question some of the interviews he’s given and how he has so much time for them.” Anthony Fauci has been in the hot seat before. In the eighties, he was blamed for not stopping AIDS. Now, Dr. Fauci is seen as a voice of reason. How did he get there?

“Anthony Stephen Fauci was born in New York City on Christmas Eve 1940, the second of Stephen and Eugenia Fauci’s two children. … Fauci has spent his entire professional career at the National Institutes of Health. He started as a clinical associate in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 1968, after a two-year residency at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. By 1974, he was head of the clinical physiology section of the lab. In 1980, he became chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation (a position he still holds) and since 1984, he has been the director of NIAID.”

Things began to change in 1981. The “aha” moment was- it was the early summer of 1981. The CDC … puts out the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report … reported on their June 5, 1981 MMWR five men from Los Angeles who presented with a very unusual kind of pneumonia that you only see in people who have dramatically-suppressed immune systems. And I looked at it and said, “Wow, five gay men.” Why all gay men, and why this strange disease that you almost never see in healthy people? And they were supposedly completely healthy other than that. I thought it was a fluke.”

“And then one month later, on the July 4th of 1981, the next MMWR appeared … “Now 26 men, not only from L.A., but from San Francisco and New York, with not only this strange pneumonia, but this strange kind of cancer that you only see in people who are immunosuppressed.” And the thing that blew me away is that all of them were gay men. And I said, “Whoa. Something is going on here that’s really bad, and this is likely a new disease.””

“And I made what I consider the transforming decision in my own career: I decided I was going to stop what I had been doing-rather successfully-for the previous nine or ten years and devote myself completely to studying what I felt would be an enormously difficult disease, and it, unfortunately, turned out that that was the case.”

Seven years later, after staggering amounts of deaths and suffering, Dr. Fauci was scheduled to appear at a conference in San Francisco. ACT-UP was there to greet him. “An Open Letter to Dr. Anthony Fauci” San Francisco Examiner, June 26, 1988 “Anthony Fauci, you are a murderer and should not be the guest of honor at any event that reflects on the past decade of the AIDS crisis. Your refusal to hear the screams of AIDS activists early in the crisis resulted in the deaths of thousands of Queers. … You can’t hide the fact that you are nothing but a despicable Reagan-era holdover and drug company mouthpiece. With 270,000 dead from AIDS and millions more infected with HIV, you should not be honored at a dinner. You should be put before a firing squad. … You are a pill-pushing pimp that cooperates with drug companies in forcing dangerous concoctions down the throats of a desperate community that is brainwashed into believing that taking a pill, any pill, will help them. … Ten years of hope? Fuck that. Try a decade of death and greed. Go back to Washington you bastard.”

“Carol Brown Moskowitz … recalls running into a group of leather-clad men, many of them body pierced and draped in chains, in Washington’s Omni Hotel, in the fall of 1988. … When she asked one of them who they were, he told her that they were members of “Act Up,” and that they were going out to make some noise at the FDA about the AIDS epidemic and the lack of funding for research. … Fauci asked the police and the FBI on the NIH campus not to make arrests. He also asked that a handful of the demonstration’s leaders be brought to his office.”

“That began a relationship over many years that allowed me to walk amongst them,” Fauci says. “It was really interesting; they let me into their camp. I went to the gay bath houses and spoke to them. I went to San Francisco, to the Castro District, and I discussed the problems they were having, the degree of suffering that was going on in the community, the need for them to get involved in clinical trials, since there were no other possibilities for them to get access to drugs.”

In 2005, Fauci appeared on C-SPAN. “The toughest decision you’ve ever had to make?””Well, one of the toughest decision-I had a few-was when I made a decision during the middle of the early years of the AIDS pandemic to bring the activist community into our deliberations, because most of the scientific community, including my own staff, were totally against that. They said the activists would be disruptive, that they would get in the way of what the scientific approach would be.”

One of those activists was the infamous Larry Kramer, who wrote the open letter seen above. This 1993 chat with Kramer gives you a small taste.

“Natalie Angier wrote in The New York Times in February of 1994: “And through it all, Dr. Fauci accepts the criticisms, and he accepts that someone must absorb the anger and terror that AIDS has spawned, so why not somebody of strong vertebrae who was raised on the streets of Bensonhurst? “I was on a C-SPAN program a couple of months ago with Tony, and I attacked him for the entire hour,” said Mr. Kramer. “He called me up afterwards and said he thought the program went very well. I said, ‘How can you say that? I did nothing but yell at you.’ He said, ‘You don’t realize that you can say things I can’t. It doesn’t mean I don’t agree with you.” … “Dr. Fauci claims he does not take the intermittent blasts personally. “That’s the activist mode,” he said. “When there’s a disagreement their tendency is to trash somebody. But I know that when Larry Kramer says the reason we’re all in so much trouble is because of Tony Fauci, he’s too smart to believe that.”

A few years later, the outlook started to improve. “We have drugs right now … In the early ’80s, if someone came in to my clinic with AIDS … half of them would be dead in eight months. Now, if …someone comes into a clinic who is 20-plus years old who is relatively recently infected, and I put them on the combination of three drugs … if you take your medicine regularly, you could live an additional 50-five zero-years.”

“Fauci is married to Christine Grady … “I met him (Fauci) here over the bed of a patient who happened to be from Brazil. I was called in as a translator … And so they said, ‘Could you come translate for Dr. Fauci?’ whom I had not met—the inimitable Dr. Fauci— everybody was afraid of. When he came in, I thought, ‘What are they so afraid of him for? He is not so scary.’”

As Fauci tells the story on C-SPAN: “She was just this very attractive young nurse, and I said, “Very interesting.” … I was single. So I went back to my office. About a few days later, I told the head nurse, “Could you tell that nurse, Ms. Grady, to come to my office. I want to talk to her.” … So she walked into my office completely petrified that she was in trouble, and she sat there looking very nervous. I couldn’t figure out why she was nervous. So I looked at her and said, “Well, you know, I didn’t realize you had come here until just last week.” I said, “Would you like to go out for dinner sometime?” She just fell right through the chair, and she said, “Of course, I will.” And we got married a year later.”

In today’s #metoo atmosphere, the director romancing a young nurse might not work as well. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Thanks to Holy Cross Magazine and C-SPAN

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  1. […] of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with Brian Lamb. This interview was a primary source for Anthony Stephen Fauci. Today, we will look at other quotes from that interview. Pictures today are from The Library of […]


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