Dr Anthony Fauci is one of the world’s leading infectious diseases experts, the face of science in America during COVID-19, and advisor to President Donald Trump. He and the University of Cape Town’s Professor Linda-Gail Bekker will discuss the global pandemic globally, vaccine development and access, and new treatments in a webinar with MedicalBrief and the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation, sponsored by PPS.
The webinar will be held on Monday 26 October 2020 at 7pm SAST and 1pm EST. It will bear one CPD point. Click here to register for Dr Anthony Fauci: The Pandemic – North, South and forward
The conversation with Fauci will last for half an hour, after which Linda-Gail Bekker – a professor of medicine at UCT, internationally respected infectious diseases researcher, COO of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation and former president of the International Aids Society – will consider matters arising and respond to questions from participants.
The discussion will range from reflections on COVID-19 so far in the global North and South, and expected and unexpected elements, to vaccine development and access, new treatments such as monoclonal therapies and whether South Africa will get these. Amid the scientific matters, it is hoped that he will articulate some personal thoughts on the pandemic.
Dr Anthony Fauci
Since 1984, Cornell University-trained Dr Anthony Fauci has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases or NIAID, which is part of the United States National Institutes of Health. Since the widespread emergence of COVID-19 in January 2020, Fauci has been one of the lead members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, handling the COVID-19 pandemic in the US.
Fauci has been one of the world’s most cited scientists, and an advisor to every American president since Ronald Reagan. Leading media have described the 79-year-old immunologist as one of the country’s most trusted medical figures.
As director of NIAID, he commands an extensive portfolio of basic and applied research into infectious and immune-mediated diseases. He has been prominent in efforts to tackle viral diseases such as HIV-AIDS, SARS, MERS and Ebola as well as COVID-19. Fauci’s research has contributed to understanding of the human immune response, and to the development of numerous disease treatments, among many other contributions.
Last month the British Medical Journal published an interview with Fauci by BMJ Editor Fiona Godlee, about the pressures of advising the US leader, the many challenges of SARS-CoV-2 – and how he thinks the pandemic will end. He replied:
“I believe it will end with an effective and safe vaccine that ultimately will be widely distributed throughout the world. But that has to happen together with public health measures. You’re not going to do it only with a vaccine: you’ve got to do it with the vaccine together with public health measures, until the overall umbrella of protection is over all the world. That’s not going to happen in a few months. It’s probably going to take a year or two.”
BMJ’s Godlee highlighted the widespread support for Fauci from clinicians, researchers and the public, and his currently heroic status as a scientist who speaks truth to power. She asked how he felt about this sudden fame:
“You know, you just do it: you tell things the way they are. Sometimes that’s not in agreement with what people would like to hear. But I learnt a long time ago that people will ultimately have sustained respect for you if you give them the information based on science and are not afraid to tell people things they do not want to hear. Whether they act on the things you tell them is beyond my power.
“The only thing that I can do is analyse the situation, look at the scientific data, and make whatever recommendation they ask me to make. But you can be assured that it will be always based on scientific evidence and data.”
In the webinar, Fauci will bring his considerable expertise and experience as an immunologist, world-leading infectious diseases expert and public health protector to bear on current COVID-19 challenges and developments, and what these mean for medical practitioners, countries and people globally and in Africa.
About webinar sponsor PPS
PPS Health Professions Indemnity was developed in response to the challenges South African health professionals face, from the aggressive litigation landscape to rising professional indemnity costs. This indemnity protection is delivered through the financial strength and security of the PPS Group. The focus is on sustainability, providing quality protection for the duration of your career as a health professional. More information on the solution is available in the Product Brochure.
The BMJ interview: Anthony Fauci on Covid-19