SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Stephen Curry is a husband, father, NBA All-Star and most recently — an interviewer.
Curry did a 1-on-1 with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a current member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
The interview was posted on Steph’s YouTube channel apart of his latest series “State of Inspiration W/ Stephen Curry”.
The 31-minute interview covered a variety of things, including facts about coronavirus, the nation’s response to the pandemic and, of course, basketball.
Steph asked Dr. Fauci about his approach to the pandemic and how he goes about having to deal with such a huge responsibility.
“One of the things you have to do is you need to be open, honest and consistent,” Dr. Fauci said. “Always tell it like it is. So that if you don’t know the answer to a question in science, you gotta be humble enough to say ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I’ll try to find out’. And if you do know the answer, you gotta give the answer based on solid, scientific data. You don’t want to be winging things, you don’t want to be guessing. You gotta be driven by the science, articulated and lead by example.”
Dr. Fauci has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. He’s worked with six different presidents and administrations.
And even though every president has had different political views, he said he’s always had a good relationship with each of them.
“Once you make it clear that you’re honest, open and consistent, then people will respect you and listen to what you have to say,” Dr. Fauci said. “Your messages will be life saving.”
“I always say tell it like it is, if people don’t like it and they don’t want me around anymore, then so be it,” he said. “But I’m not gonna compromise my integrity or my mode of operating of telling the truth in a clear, articulate, consistent way.”
Dr. Fauci said back in the early 80s, there were some people who were denying that HIV was the cause of AIDS.
“We called them HIV denialists,” he said.
Dr. Fauci said these “crazy” people were very dangerous because if they convinced others that there’s no such thing as HIV, then people wouldn’t protect themselves against it.
And though that sounds insane decades later, Dr. Fauci said it’s worse now.
“The dark web or the crazy extremists who don’t believe anything we say about public health and say this is a hoax, and they really wanna essentially say I’m a fraud,” he said. “I’ve never, I mean anyone who knows what I do would never say that.”
“But when you have people who are so extreme that they not only attack my integrity, but they really threaten to physically attack me and my family which is really bizarre that people are so stringent in their disagreement with something that is so simple as a public health message,” he said.
“It’s happening right now.”
Dr. Fauci said the Trump administration’s ban of travelers coming from then-hotspots like China and parts of Europe was the right decision and was crucial at the time.
The United States leads the world in most deaths and cases with more than 200,000 deaths and almost nine million cases.
And Dr. Fauci warns that things won’t get better if people don’t follow guidelines going into the fall and winter seasons.
When you’re dealing with a respiratory born virus, it’s always better to be outdoors versus indoors, Dr. Fauci says. But when the weather changes and it begins to get cooler, people are going to be spending more time indoors which is going to make it much more problematic to prevent the spread of the virus.
As the nation braces for the colder seasons, we want to go in with the best possible situation. Which, he says, is not where we currently are at with 40,000 cases a day. He said you want the community spread level to be low so you can deal with little surges.
“You want to go in with your best game. You want to go in with your starting five all in really good shape, not with bad ankles and bad shoulders and bad knees,” Fauci said. “You want everyone playing at top speed. That’s what we really want as we go into the fall and the winter.”
So when will this be past us?
“Just hang on,” Dr. Fauci said.
He had a very direct request for the public, especially the youth: Continue to wear a mask, wash your hands, keep your distance and avoid crowds.
Dr. Fauci says we’re going to have a vaccine soon and once we have one that’s proven to be safe and effective — it will be distributed first to the most vulnerable and health care providers. After a few months, anyone who wants it will get it.
He then says once we have a vaccine and people continue to follow public health guidelines, Americans can put this behind us by the middle to end of 2021.
And while speaking to an NBA star like Steph Curry, basketball had to be included in the conversation.
Dr. Fauci broke down his game on the hardwood back in the days, and how basketball was a different game when he played in high school.
Fauci said sports taught him a lot that he has carried with him in his everyday life and in his professional career.
“As good as you might be or think you are, the fact is you’re part of a team,” Dr. Fauci said. “Teamwork is certainly a big one.”
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