At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s likely not many in the United States knew who Dr. Anthony Fauci was.
By the time the pandemic is controlled, it’s possible that Fauci will emerge as the biggest hero.
Many Americans have already become enamored with 79-year-old Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 -- and are all ears whenever Fauci takes the podium at the White House for daily updates on the battle against this new coronavirus, COVID-19.
But who exactly is Fauci, and what has his road been to becoming one of the world’s most accomplished scientists and immunologists?
Here are five interesting facts about Fauci.
1.) Even at age 79, he is probably in better shape than you.
Fauci has always been an avid runner, participating in marathons throughout his life. In his younger years, Fauci reportedly would run for seven miles a day. At age 79, he still reportedly runs 3.5 miles a day.
When he was in midst of the fight against HIV/AIDS, Dr. Fauci was known to run 7 miles daily.— Alexander Nazaryan (@alexnazaryan) March 16, 2020
I just asked him if he still keeps to that exercise regimen.
No, he says, noting that he is working 19 hour days to fight the coronavirus.
He is down to 3.5 miles -- at the age of 79.
2.) Fauci was praised by former President George Herbert Walker Bush in a 1988 debate.
Recently, a video from a 1988 presidential candidate debate between then-Vice President Bush and Michael Dukakis emerged. Asked a question about people who they thought were heroes and who young Americans should aspire to be like, Bush said Fauci was such a person.
At the time, Fauci was instrumental in researching AIDS.
“You’ve probably never heard of him,” Bush said. “He’s a very fine researcher, top doctor at National Institute of Health, working hard at doing something -- research on this disease of AIDS.
1988: @AnnCompton asks Bush & Dukakis who their heroes are, "point out to young Americans as figures who should inspire this country?"— David I. Ramadan (@DavidIRamadan) March 21, 2020
Bush: "Fauci ...top doctor at NIH, working hard doing something about research on this disease of AIDS" @HowardMortmanpic.twitter.com/tyDPRNuFcJ
3.) He is one of the world’s most accomplished scientists ever.
Fauci has won numerous awards around the world, including three different ones from the President of the United States.
In 1979, he won the Arthur S. Fleming Award, given to honor outstanding federal employees.
In 2005, he was awarded the National Medal of Science, presented to individuals who have made important contributions in science and engineering.
In 2008, Fauci was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
He has also been awarded the Ernst Jung Prize (1995), the Albany Medical Center Prize, the fourth-most lucrative prize in the world for medicine (2002) and the American Association of Immunologists Lifetime Achievement Award (2005), among others.
4.) He is an idol for authors and scholars.
Fauci has edited, authored and co-authored more than 1,000 scientific publications and has 31 honorary doctorate degrees from colleges or universities around the world.
From 1983 to 2002, Fauci was the 13th-most cited scientist in the world, according to ScienceWatch.
5.) He is working a TON of hours trying to help combat the coronavirus.
It seems like the only free time Fauci has is for his running, because he is reportedly working nearly 19 hours a day on the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
“I’m not worried about myself,” Fauci told the New York Times. “I’m worried about the job I have to do.”