“Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. ... tested positive for COVID-19 on a rapid antigen test. He is fully vaccinated and has been boosted twice. He is currently experiencing mild symptoms.”
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in a statement released on Wednesday. It is the first time the nation's top medical adviser during the pandemic has tested positive for COVID-19.
jun 16, 2022
- Why It Matters: Dr. Fauci has been the director of NIAID since 1984 and has advised seven U.S. presidents on how to "better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases" (NIAID). After he tested positive, NIAID released a statement stating that "he has not recently been in close contact with President Biden or other senior government officials."
- Dr. Fauci has attended public gatherings since pandemic restrictions have lifted, though practicing extra caution at times; for example, he chose to opt out of the White House Correspondents' Dinner in April. He had told CNN, "Each of us, in our own personal way, has to make an assessment of what risk you're willing to accept about getting infected. In general, the risk is low, but I made a personal assessment. I'm 81 years old, and if I get infected, I have a much higher risk."
- A panel of outside advisors recommended the FDA grant emergency use authorization for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for the final age group without the option — the Pfizer vaccine for those from 6 months to under the age of 5, and the Moderna vaccine for those from 6 months to under the age of 6. The Moderna "teen dose" (for those 6-17 years old) was recommended by the same panel on Tuesday, potentially providing families another option in addition to Pfizer. The FDA typically follows the guidance of advisors, and if the CDC gives a "green light" to these vaccines on Saturday as is expected, doses could become available early next week.
- While there was a sharp increase in known infections earlier in the year due to the omicron variant, current COVID cases have "leveled off in recent weeks" (NYT). “We seem to be plateauing right now,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a professor of epidemiology and the inaugural director of the Pandemic Center at Brown University’s School of Public Health.
Fauci tests positive for virus, has mild COVID-19 symptoms (Associated Press)
FDA advisers endorse 1st COVID-19 shots for kids under 5 (Associated Press)