A birthday appreciation for Dr Fauci, who will celebrate his 80th on Zoom | Life and style

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Advice is a dangerous gift, not least if you don’t practice what you preach. But one person whose modus operandi is the exact opposite of “do as I say not as I do” is Dr Anthony Fauci, who will turn 80 on 24 December and plans to celebrate on Zoom.

After already eschewing in-person partying for Thanksgiving (he and his wife didn’t allow their children to visit them during the holidays), Dr Fauci will do the same on his birthday this year – his first celebration without his three daughters.

“We’re going to have a Zoom celebration with my wife and I in my house, and my children scattered throughout the country,” Fauci told CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell. This should not be special news, considering the pandemic has taken the lives of 284,000 Americans, and with cases continuing to rise at record-breaking levels. But then again, when the US president and his entourage still won’t stop holding parties, rallies and super-spreader events – even after a number of them have gotten sick – it’s almost extraordinary to see a public official practice such restraint.

Let’s give a toast to Fauci. The man managed to keep his job – a job he has had since 1984 – under Trump, when many of the president’s closest allies didn’t survive. He even managed to keep his role while publicly contradicting the president. (He repeated some great advice he was once given: “When you go into the White House, you should be prepared that that is the last time you will ever go in. Because if you go in saying, I’m going to tell somebody something they want to hear, then you’ve shot yourself in the foot.’ Now everybody knows I’m going to tell them exactly what’s the truth.”)

And who wouldn’t respect a man who looks to The Godfather’s Michael Corleone for guidance on how to manage his team (“It’s nothing personal, it’s strictly business…You just have a job to do. Even when somebody’s acting ridiculous, you can’t chide them for it. You’ve got to deal with them. Because if you don’t deal with them, then you’re out of the picture,” he once told The New Yorker’s Michael Specter).

While the opinion of scientists and experts have been continuously mocked and derided during the Trump presidency, it’s been great to see Fauci become a household name because of his expertise. Here is a man who has seen Americans through the HIV epidemic, Sars and the ebola crisis. A man who served under Nixon, Reagen and Bush. And six months into the US lockdown, his public trust percentage was still well into the 60s. Like the rest of us, forgoing the holidays clearly bothers him. “The Christmas issue even bothers me more than Thanksgiving,” he told CBS on Monday, as he reminisced about the days when you could take a week off to see family between Christmas and New Years. And yet, he is leading by example.

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: A birthday appreciation for Dr Fauci, who will celebrate his 80th on Zoom | Life and style

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