Direct from the NIH: Dr. Anthony Fauci on the Coronavirus – what we face and what we can do

Alan Alda:
This is so great. You could come in and talk with us today because you’re the one person in the world that I think I’m getting the straightest info from. So, thanks so much Fauci.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
It’s good to be with you, Alan.
Alan Alda:
The thing is you have to walk a fine line, it seems to me, to give us the best information you can without panicking us. Am I right about that? How do you go about it if I’m right?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Well, it is a fine line Alan, because you want to be completely honest as always with the public. You want to make statements and policy based on solid information. And you try to gather that information as best as you can. But sometimes there are a bunch of unknowns and you can’t make definitive statements. There are things that we do know about this coronavirus, a lot of it from the experience that the Chinese have had and now that other nations that have a considerable number of cases. So on the one hand you don’t want to panic the American people because in general when you talk about the risk, for example, of getting infected, looking at the United States as a whole, the risk is low. However, we’re starting to see some community infections, namely infections that you can’t relate to a particular travel or to particular contact.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
We’re starting to see that, for example, in the Seattle area. So the risk there is a bit more and that’s the reason why the health officials will likely start to do what we call social distancing. But on the whole the risk is low. However, Alan, importantly, if you’re an individual with an underlying medical condition, an elderly person with heart disease, with a lung disease, with kidney disease, with diabetes, if you were to get infected, if, it’s a big if, if you were to get infected, the risk is high that you’re going to get a serious complication. Whether if you’re a young person, otherwise healthy, even if you do get infected and hopefully never, but even if you do, the risk is very low that you’re going to get into medical trouble.
Alan Alda:
Show the significance of not knowing what the connection is to a person who is known to be ill with the coronavirus. The significance of not knowing who they were in contact with, where it was a likely source of the infection, is that it could point to the fact that it’s a community-wide epicenter. Is that what you’re saying?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Yeah. What I’m saying, for example, let me mention something that is not community spread. That is, someone comes back from Wuhan, China, infected and their spouse gets infected. We’ve had a couple of instances of that. You know exactly what the source of that second person’s infection is. So that’s not a community spread.
Alan Alda:
So what if it were community-wide, what would you do change your approach.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Okay, that’s very good. So the community approach is… And this is an if, if you have community spread, we’re starting to see a bit of that right now in the Seattle area, you do two things. You try as best as you can to do contact tracing, but sometimes you can’t do that very efficiently. That’s when you institute, Alan, what’s called mitigation. And mitigation means how do you deal with the problem you already have as opposed to trying to prevent the problem. And you would do things like social distancing, encouraging telework, having people avoid crowded areas, stadiums, theaters and things like that. That’s what you would do if you had substantial community-based, because you wouldn’t know where it was coming from. So the best thing you could do is to separate people from each other as best as you can. That’s what’s called social distancing.
Alan Alda:
So that would change I suppose as the threat to the community grows. So it’s over time, does it change over time?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Absolutely, Alan. That’s the point. And that’s what we mean, that it isn’t one static type of recommendation. In real time, you follow it literally on a day by day basis and you make recommendations based on solid information when you don’t have all the information that you need. You try to make a best guesstimate based on what you have. But you it isn’t something where you make a recommendation. You say, okay, we’re done. And you walk away. You follow the evolution of it carefully.
Alan Alda:
So as we speak right now, this is March 5th, 2020. What’s your estimate now? What’s the news you have for us now and when will it change? What circumstances need to arise for you to go to the next level of caution?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Yeah, I think the next level of caution, Alan, is going to depend where you are in the country. So there’s level of caution within the United States, and there’s level of caution where you would go to put yourself at risk. So for example, right now there are certain parts of Northern Italy, certain parts of South Korea, where there’s enough infection there that you totally mitigate your risk if you just don’t travel there.
Alan Alda:
So is that a recommendation by the government?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
It is a recommendation. So if you’re dealing only within the United States, the kinds of things that you recommend will unlikely be uniform throughout every region, section of the country. So let me give you a solid example of that right now. I’m right now, today as you said, March 5th, 2020, I’m in the Washington, DC area. Right now, there is no need for any kind of social distancing or anything because there’s no known cases at all of community spread that we know of. Now, that might change tomorrow or the next day. Whereas if you’re in a situation, the way people in around that nursing home is in the state of Washington, the authorities in Washington at their discretion, the health authorities, might start talking about doing some of this social distancing. It’s going to depend on where you are and what the circumstances are.
Alan Alda:
You remind me of what we started talking about in terms of panic. It’s easy for us, the regular people who don’t have the full view that you have to self-panic a little bit. When we hear, for instance, that the virus can be spread by people who show no symptoms. If they haven’t shown symptoms, that means there are typhoid Marys among us that we don’t know about it, which is a scary idea. So our first step probably is to think, and I know this is true among many people, to think, “Well, I’m not going to go to the movies tonight. I’m not going to go to that meeting tomorrow because I don’t know who’s got it. So what’s an approach that you recommend for us to take?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Okay, so as I mentioned earlier, Alan, the recommendations are based on the data you have. And when you don’t have solid data, you’ve got to use good judgment. So let me explain good data and or good judgment. So right now what we’re trying to do is to get a better handle on what level, if any, there is in the community that we’re not recognizing. So what the CDC, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention are doing, they’re taking a group, first six states, and then six cities, excuse me, and then they’re going to expand that more to essentially empirically go in. And when someone comes into an emergency room or a clinic with flu-like symptoms to test them for the coronavirus, those people would have no known connection. If you determined throughout the country what the extent, if any, of people under the radar who were infected, that would give you a much greater ground of data to be able to say, “Well, wait a minute, I just want to be a little bit more careful because there are things out there.” Now, for example, that’s data-based, when you talk about risk of an individual, if they did get infected. It’s important. The data from China and the data now, which is getting to be copious because there’s a lot of infection in South Korea and in Northern Italy, the data we’re getting is that about 80% or more of the people who actually do get infected are doing very well without any medical intervention. We don’t have an antiviral drug and you don’t even need to bring them into the hospital because they’re going to spontaneously get better. What we are learning that about 15% or 20% at the most of the people who come to the attention of the medical community are going to get seriously ill and they would require hospitalization, oxygen, perhaps even intubation and intensive care. The risk of those people are very strongly weighted to those who are elderly and with underlying conditions, chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and obesity. So when you look at people who have actually gotten infected, the vast majority are going to do just fine.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
So therefore what it tells us, we’ve got to protect the vulnerable. So getting back to your original question, if you’re a person who has an underlying condition, who is concerned that they’re in a situation where they’re vulnerable to be in that high-risk category, common sense would say that that person, if there’s any infection around, would want to stay away from crowded places, would want to socially distance themselves, because they’re the most vulnerable in the population.
Alan Alda:
Right. It’s really difficult for us in the population, the people who don’t have the training that you have to recognize the factors that impact us in our daily lives. For instance, the CDC, I believe, has now made it possible with a doctor’s recommendation for anybody to get… There used to be stricter guidelines about whether or not you could take a test. The question is, aren’t there right now, hundreds of thousands or maybe even millions of people who have flu-like symptoms, who may think, “How do I know what I’ve got? Shouldn’t I take a test?” Is the doctor being advised on how to judge whether or not a test is called for?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Yeah. Alan, if you go to the CDC website, there’s a very nice instruction of what should be done in the community with regard to individual. In other words, what is the patient doctor discussion regarding what one should do? That’s pretty well delineated. Pointing out what you just said about testing, early on, the test availability was not as open and fluid as it is right now. What the CDC and the FDA have been working on and I believe has succeeded in making that leaning forward advance is to make tests much more widely available, which was not the case just several weeks ago. Hopefully now, physicians who feel on their good clinical judgment, should they test somebody, it’ll be much easier for them to do that. [crosstalk 00:00:47]-
Dr Anthony Fauci:
The recommendations of what you should do are there on the website.
Alan Alda:
Good. I imagine the danger is that if everybody gets scared who has a flu-like symptom, that you’re going to run out of test kits.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, sure. If everybody who has flu-like symptoms, but right now I think what they’re trying to do is make as many as available as are appropriate to do. I think Alan, that we’re going to be there.
Alan Alda:
Are governments sharing information readily?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
I believe so, Alan. In the very beginning of the outbreak when the Chinese said that it was really only from an animal reservoir that were human, when actually, it was undergoing replications and transmissions probably for a few weeks before. There was some concern that they should have been more transparent about that even with their own health people, but once they got into essentially turning it around and being really quite draconian in the public health measures that they did, shutting down major cities, closing down the city of Wuhan, which is a city of 11 million people, that right now we believe that they are being transparent. You never know unless you’re there real time, but we did make, in my mind, a really good step in the direction. The WHO organized a group of individuals that were multinational to go there and spend, I think it was about a week taking a look in real time as to what was going on. Two of those individuals were from the United States, one from the CDC and one from the NIH, my own group. They’ve come back now and they are briefing us on what’s going on there. I believe now today in March of 2020, that the information that we’re getting is as good information as you could possibly get.
Alan Alda:
How about cooperation among scientists and there’s labs there? Where there would be a tendency, at least there was early on in the Ebola situation, which I think loosened up in terms of cooperation eventually. There’s a tendency to want to get the credit and the money that comes from being the one who figures out the vaccine, so there’s a little bit of a reluctance or can be and share information and data along the way. Has that changed in this case?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Yeah, it’s really changed very much, Alan. As a matter of fact, the amount of going back and forth with information with our Chinese colleagues, with our colleagues in Korea, with the colleagues in Italy is really, really quite good. I think it should be pointed out that when you’re dealing at the scientist level, many of the Chinese scientists and health officials are people that we have been collaborating on an academic scientific basis for years, if not decades, many of whom have actually trained in the United States. That kind of information back and forth, that’s at the scientific level. The idea about “getting credit” or “getting financial gain” from developing a drug or developing a vaccine, I’m not seeing any of that withholding of information at all. Things are very transparent. It was either yesterday or the day before, we’ve been doing this around the clock, so I sometimes forget.
Alan Alda:
When do you sleep?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Yeah, I don’t very much, Alan, but the president had a meeting of CEOs of a number of the pharmaceutical corporations and already, they were talking about openly what they were doing and they were even forming a consortia, that they’d be able to essentially share data. I’m optimistic that everybody knows that we’re all in this together and we have a serious challenge that’s a global health challenge involving many countries, including the United States. I detect a spirit of not only wanting to share information, but getting to the answer regardless of who gets there first.
Alan Alda:
That’s very encouraging and we’re talking about developing a vaccine. What about developing treatment? Because many people who by the time you get a vaccine, a year or 18 months from now, there will be a lot of people more than we have now who need treatment, right?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Right, so let me tell you what’s going on. There is no documented, proven effective therapy for the virus itself. Unlike HIV/AIDS where we have very good treatments and a number of other infections. What is being done? There have been a number of drugs, at least two, but one in particular that showed some interesting, somewhat optimistic data in an animal model that is now being used in what’s called a randomized clinical trial to see if it works. It’s a drug called remdesivir. It’s a nucleotide analog to block the virus’s replication. It is being used in two big studies in China that are enrolling hundreds of individuals. We should know … We don’t know if it works, Alan, but at least in the next several months, maybe three, four months or more, we will know if it works. If it works, it will be available. If it doesn’t work, we’ll go to the next drug and we won’t do them in tandem. We’ll do them together and also, there’s a clinical trial on that same drug going on right here in the United States at the University of Nebraska, at the University of Washington.
Alan Alda:
One of the things we depend on from science is that scientists take their time to check and recheck their results. They are peer reviewed. Their findings are attempted to be replicated. Are we in danger because of the urgency of finding care and vaccines? Are we in danger of loosening the rules of scientific rigor?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Well, yes, there’s a danger, but at least as far as I’m concerned, that’s not going to happen from what we do, Alan. Let me explain. There is a tendency of urgency to say, “Here’s a drug that maybe looks good in an animal or maybe in the test tube, looks like it’s blocking the virus. Let’s just give it to everybody because it’s a dangerous situation.” That’s not a good thing to do and that’s the reason why I mentioned when you do a randomized controlled trial, you can get an answer that’s definitive. What we do, for example, if you give standard of care versus standard of care plus the drug you’re testing, within a reasonable period of time, you’ll know. The data would be firm. When you do, if it’s effective, and it’s a big if, you’ll give it to everybody who needs it. The danger of saying, “Well, I really want to make sure we can give something to someone,” that you give a lot of drug and you never really know if it works, and the reason is because some people spontaneous, not some a lot, spontaneously recover anyway. The idea that you think you’re making the better by giving them a drug has to be proven in a sound, ethically-designed, scientifically-designed clinical trial.
Alan Alda:
I heard that the incidence of people recovering spontaneously has been useful in studying their plasma. Why did they recover? Maybe through that you can discover a way to perk up the immune system using whatever is helping them recover. Is that so?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Well, yes, of course, but I think it’s also important in informing the kind of immune response that you’d like to induce with a vaccine. Because if you look at somebody who recovers and you say, “Wow, they have this particular qualitative and quantitative immune response, you know that that’s the kind of response you want to induce with a vaccine. When you design a vaccine, you look for that kind of response. You want to make it like a person who’s recovered from infection, so you’re absolutely correct. That’s important information that we’re now looking at in people who’ve actually recovered.
Alan Alda:
We’ve been talking about the public aspect of this. The epidemiological aspect. I’m interested as well in the personal aspect, what we have to expect, what we need to think about personally. One of the factors is that the virus has an infection period without showing symptoms, and I’m not sure I’ve heard consistent information about how long that period is. What’s the best estimate now?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Well, first of all, there are some people who have asymptomatic infection who never get any symptoms at all. They get infected and they may-
Alan Alda:
And they’re still infectious.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Yeah, yeah. Well, yes, but the thing that we need to find out and let’s get back Alan, to what I said about you have to collect data and make policy decisions on data. When you don’t have data, you’ve got to use your judgment. What we need to know is that when someone is asymptomatic for the entire time, I’m not talking about getting infected today and having no symptoms until eight days from now and then getting symptoms, because that could be just the incubation period of the virus. I’m talking about people who are infected, have no symptoms and just spontaneously recover and we never know. The question is, how many of those people are there around who are actually without any symptoms at all and is the level of virus in the body reflective of the fact that they don’t have any symptoms? In other words, is the level of virus so low that they don’t have symptoms or does it make no difference? Some people get those symptoms even with a high level of virus and some people get symptoms even with a moderate level. This is something we don’t know yet, that we’re very actively trying to get that data.
Alan Alda:
I don’t mean to play scientist, but it sounds like it might be worth using some small portion of the test kits to test people randomly who seem to be well.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Well, that’s exactly the point. You are being a scientist, Alan, good for you. Good for you. No, that’s true, and that’s what I believe we should do. We should be doing random sampling of individuals in addition to people who are symptomatic. I think that would be important.
Alan Alda:
This is a question out of curiosity. It’s called the Corona, but well actually there’s a new term now that we’re supposed to, COVID-19 is that-
Dr Anthony Fauci:
yeah. Yeah. That stands for Coronavirus disease, 2019.
Alan Alda:
I see. Is that going to cause a problem calling it two different things?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Well, the disease is the disease and the virus is the virus.
Alan Alda:
So it doesn’t matter whether you call it Bill.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
No, no, no, no. Actually Alan, you’re familiar with that because remember the infection is HIV, but the disease is called AIDS. All right, so in this one, they’re calling the virus either novel Coronavirus or SARS 2, because it’s part of the Coronavirus too because SARS was also a Coronavirus. I prefer to call it novel Coronavirus, but the disease it causes is called COVID-19.
Alan Alda:
I’m glad you made that clear to me, thank you. One of the things that interests me is that if it’s called, as I understand it, called the Coronavirus, because when you look at a picture of it, it looks like there’s a Corona around the virus.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Right. If you look at an electron microscopic picture of it, Alan, they have these spike proteins that come out and what they look like are the spikes that come across the crown of a king’s crown, so it’s Corona for crown. So if you look at the Corona, you see those spikes, are those spikes helping it stick to a surface? Is that a mechanical function there?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Yeah, there you go. That’s Alan, the scientist again. You hit the nail right on the head. Exactly what it is. There’s a part of the spike protein that binds to a receptor called ACE-2. That receptor is in your lung much more so than any other place, which is an interesting thing, Alan, which is the reason why people who get Coronavirus infection don’t usually get upper airway sniffles, sinusitis, sore throat. They generally get lung involvement with pneumonias, because the receptors for that spike protein are very well distributed in the lung. That’s the reason why the primary serious component of Coronavirus disease is lung involvement because that’s where the receptors are.
Alan Alda:
Does that mean that a major part of your inquiry in looking for a vaccine is to do something about those receptors and how they respond to the Corona?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
The major part of the inquiry of a vaccine is a little bit different from the major part of a therapy. For a vaccine, you want to induce an antibody that would block this, so if this is the spike and this is the receptor, this is the lung, this is the virus, it goes like this and it binds and then infects the cells in your lung. You want an antibody that comes right between there, binds to the spike and doesn’t let the spike get into the receptor. If you’re developing a drug, there are multiple ways you could interfere with the receptor, you could interfere with the virus itself. There are a number of ways of blocking that from a drug.
Alan Alda:
Have scientists decoded the viruses, do you know?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Totally.
Alan Alda:
How is that helping or how could it help? Oh, well, it’s already helped, Alan. Let me explain. When the Chinese discovered that it was this novel coronavirus, they rapidly sequenced it and put the sequence on a public database. We’ve known from previous experience with SARS, which is also a coronavirus, and with MERS Middle East respiratory syndrome, which is also a coronavirus. We have learned very clearly that what you want to do is that you want to make a response against the spike protein. So what we did as we looked, and it wasn’t only us, anybody can do this. You look at the sequence of the virus that was put on the public database, and you pull out the gene that codes for that spike protein and you integrate that gene into whatever vaccine platform you’re dealing with.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
In this case, it happened to be MR and A platform, but there are a number of other platforms. Then you inject it into the body and you allow the body to make a response against that protein. So knowing the sequence is critical.
Alan Alda:
Okay, good. I got a couple of questions. I don’t want to take too much of your time. Basic personal stuff, I really think it’s important. We get told to wash your hands frequently. Last night I was at a concert and I went to the men’s room and I saw most of the people leave the urinals. Most of the men leave the urinals, go to the sink, dip their fingers in water for about four seconds, dry them on a paper towel, then opened the door with the bare hands on a handle on the door that must have millions of germs that they don’t want to have, have come in contact with them. What’s the ritual that we really should be talking about in terms of washing your hands and what should you touch after you wash your hands?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Yeah, I mean obviously you can’t not touch things that you have to touch to get-
Alan Alda:
Well, you can take a paper towel and open the door with a paper towel.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Well, sure you can do that, but one of the things that’s interesting that, that’s important is right now we are still having significant flu activity, influenza. We’ve had a couple of spikes to the flu season. One early on and one a little bit later on. One of the things that we recommend as being very important is to wash your hands as often as you possibly can. And it should be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds.
Alan Alda:
And a really lather.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Yeah, exactly. I know people don’t do that, but if you’re really interested and making sure any viral particle or any mucus or a droplet that someone might sneeze on their own hand, shake your hand or go on a doorknob and five minutes later you come and open the same door knob. Now obviously practically speaking, you can’t be so obsessive compulsive that you all you do is wash your hands all day, but as often as you possibly can. And when you can’t physically have the opportunity of washing your hands, those alcohol wipes are good. I mean, I think the best thing is soap and water for 20 seconds, but in lieu of that, if you have those kind of wipes, they’re fine.
Alan Alda:
So some people have said 20 seconds goes by, if you hum Row, Row Your Boat twice.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Exactly.
Alan Alda:
Or Happy birthday. It’s hard to judge what 20 seconds is.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
It’s usually longer than you think Alan.
Alan Alda:
That’s right. And the mask things, and this is an important issue because if everybody puts a mask on hoping to protect themselves against germs from other people, we’re going to run out of masks for health professionals. And what I’ve heard and read is that the mask is really only effective for somebody who has the illness to prevent them from spreading it. Is that correct?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Yeah. The most appropriate use of masks Alan are for have a person who is infected to prevent them by coughing and sneezing, but mostly coughing. Spreading out the virus to the outside into other people. The other very appropriate use of the mask is for a medical professional who is going to be dealing with people who are in reality or potentially infected. So the idea of having all of a sudden everybody walking around in the United States with a mask on is not appropriate right now. Because it will be a use of a mask that would be much more appropriately used for the medical professionals.
Alan Alda:
Interesting, that you say right now, because that gets back to what we were saying early in the conversation that the news changes, the recommendations change as the population gets sicker if they do in fact get to that level of illness. And the doctors and nurses who come in contact repeatedly with patients who have the disease.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Right.
Alan Alda:
That seems to up the necessity of wearing a mask. Whereas if they came into contact with people randomly, the incidence of coming in contact with the disease is so low that the mask is therefore less useful. So it’s not an either or thing. It’s all part of a changing landscape.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Alan, you’re absolutely correct. And that’s the thing that we need to be realizing and be humble about that we don’t the answers to everything, but since we know this is a dynamic situation and is in fact changing. You keep an eye on it in real time, literally on a day by day basis. And when things change from an evidence standpoint, that’s when you make it public and that’s the reason why you see us almost continually briefing the public, being on the media, talking about it because things do change. They actually do. I mean a month ago there was not a situation where you had community spread in the Seattle area and now we do.
Alan Alda:
You raised a question that I have been wondering about. How does the conventional flu compare with coronavirus, novel coronavirus in terms of how rapidly it spreads and what the incidents of mortality is?
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Yeah. Well again, the mortality, we have good data on flu mortality. We’re accumulating data on this, so let me give you the information that we have. It looks very much like flu. The standard seasonal flu spreads probably more efficiently than this, but this spreads quite efficiently. I wouldn’t be threading too many needles. Here, this virus spreads pretty consistently, pretty efficiently. The mortality for the flu, the seasonal flu overall, it’s about 0.1%, 0.1%. The mortality, if you only count people who come to medical attention for the coronavirus as reported by WHO is two to three percent. However-
Alan Alda:
But you don’t know how many people don’t have it but have it but don’t report it.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Well that’s the point that if you do the simple math, number of known cases here, the denominator, number of deaths you do the math, it comes out to about two to three percent. The reason why it likely is lower broadly because of cases that don’t get counted because they don’t have any symptoms. So it is likely higher. We’re almost certain that it’s higher than seasonal flu, but it is clearly lower than that group when you only count the people who are infected. As we get more and more information, we’re going to fine tune that number. But right now that’s the best guesstimate.
Alan Alda:
One of the things that occurs to me is one of the best things we can do as citizens is to remember how science works because we have a tendency to say, last year you told me coffee was no good for me. Now you’re telling me it’s good for me and then the year before you told me it was no good. Now wine. Wine is good, wine is not good. Make up your minds. Can’t you figure things out? That’s an even. We look at science as each time giving us the final answer, the whole truth. And it doesn’t seem to work that way. And it’s advances in knowledge and sometimes in a different frame of reference, you seem to contradict what you found last year.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Sure.
Alan Alda:
But you’re telling us that what you tell us is pretty much definitely going to change as time goes on.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Right, right. What we-
Alan Alda:
And we have to recognize that you’re not losing your mind about this. You’re not doing a bad job. You’re doing a good job by giving us new revised information.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Right. You’re absolutely correct, Alan. I’m glad you brought that point up is that one makes recommendations and policy decisions based on the best available data and when you’re in an evolving situation, the data tends to change. The more data you get, the more you fine tune what the real reality is. And since we still are in an evolving situation, what you do is you speak about, you make policy, you make recommendations on the best available data. As that changes, it’s your responsibility to let the public know that the accumulation of data is making you fine tune your recommendation.
Alan Alda:
And it’s our responsibility, by the same token, to respect the process that produces new information. And not assume that you guys don’t know what you’re talking about.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Right. Thank you. Alan, I think I have to run. My staff is telling me I got to run downtown.
Alan Alda:
All right.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Are we okay?
Alan Alda:
Yeah.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
All right. Good to see you Alan. As always. It’s a great pleasure.
Alan Alda:
Thanks so much. Bye-bye.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Take care.
Alan Alda:
Bye-bye.
Dr Anthony Fauci:
Bye-bye.