Dr. Anthony Fauci is opening up about how the novel coronavirus has personally impacted his own family.
In an interview Wednesday for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist revealed that the brother of his daughter Alison’s boyfriend — who he did not name — died after contracting COVID-19.
Asked by moderator Sanjay Gupta, CNN’S chief medical correspondent, if any of Fauci’s family or friends had been affected by the virus, Fauci said there was one “very sad” case that came to mind.
“The answer is yes, a few, but one in particular,” Fauci said. “My youngest daughter’s boyfriend’s brother is a 32-year-old young man, athletic, healthy, who got COVID-19 and had one of the unusual complications of cardiomyopathy with an arrhythmia and died.”
“So there you have a 32-year-old young man, otherwise healthy actually, quite athletic and strong, who died,” he continued.
The 79-year-old director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said the death of Alison’s brother’s boyfriend “really saddened [his] daughter greatly.”
Fauci went on to explain that it is important that the public understand the severity of the virus as it can impact people regardless of age.
“You don’t want to overwhelm the general public, but you want them to at least understand that you’re dealing with real suffering, and real disease, and real loss in the form of death of loved ones,” he said.
Adding, “There has to be motivation enough for at least most of the people to adhere to the public health issues and public health recommendations that we make.”
Fauci’s remarks came one day after the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory group found that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective in preventing the virus.