Before Dr. Anthony Fauci delivered the commencement address to the University of Michigan class of 2020 and 2021, he sat down with Local 4′s Dr. Frank McGeorge.
Their conversation about the COVID pandemic was very candid. They had a wide-ranging discussion at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
They talked about what he felt was important to press on new graduations, to being accused of flip-flopping on his recommendations and a controversial comment he recently made.
- Watch the full interview in the video player above.
Blog: Dr. Frank McGeorge: Dr. Anthony Fauci is a very generous, genuine and thoughtful man
How do we avoid public health and medicine being so heavily politicized in any future pandemic or public health emergency?
One of the ways to avoid that, if we possibly can, is to try and feed into the system as much correct information as we possibly can, because it’s very interesting that the people that tweet falsities seem to have more energy of tweeting falsities than the people who are talking about true things.
You’ve basically been accused of flip-flopping on your positions. Can you clarify why some of those nuanced opinions are really important?
Yeah, what I can say, it’s a good thing. I have flip-flopped and the reason is because science and the evolution of this outbreak changes.
If you are being true to the facts and true to the data, you’re going to have to change. That’s not flip-flopping, that’s getting moving along with the science the way this outbreak is moving along. And it’s understandable how the general public doesn’t fully understand that.
You recently said on PBS News, that we were out of the pandemic phase and then you essentially updated that to save the data out of the full-blown pandemic right now. You received a fair amount of pushback on that statement. It feels to me like there are many people that are reasonably afraid to be optimistic going forward. What are your thoughts on that?
Well, I was being quite realistic and I could still stand by what I said. I mean, I probably could’ve used the better wording so that it would not be misunderstood by some people.
So, what I meant, is that we’re not in . . . in that explosive phase of the pandemic, we’re at a phase where it’s much, much lower. And I hope we stay at that level and continue go down. I wasn’t saying the pandemic is over by no means is it over. Not in the United States and certainly not globally.
In his full interview (available above), Fauci gave many other interesting answers -- including his thoughts on why children may be less affected by COVID.
Read: More health coverage