- Dr. Anthony Fauci says he doesn’t do vacations.
- But for the first time in a year, he’ll see all three of his daughters this summer.
- “They’re all vaccinated, I’m vaccinated, my wife is vaccinated, so we’re going to spend some time together,” he said.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci doesn’t really believe in vacations.
Even so, America’s top infectious disease expert says now that so many Americans are vaccinated, it’s time to cut loose.
“I don’t do vacations, I’m one of those obsessive-compulsive, workaholic nut jobs that just work,” he told Insider during a brief phone call, while gnawing on a piece of chocolate.
Though he’s not planning to disconnect from important emails or calls any time soon, he is getting ready to have some fun this summer.
“For the first time in a year and a half, my three daughters are going to be coming in to visit their daddy at the end of the month,” Fauci said. “So that’s not going to be a vacation, but that’s going to be a very happy time.”
‘They’re all vaccinated, I’m vaccinated, my wife is vaccinated’
Fauci’s daughters, Meghan, Alison, and Jennifer, are all fully grown, and live scattered across the US. One is in New Orleans teaching 3rd grade science, another is a psychologist in the Boston area, and his third, a software engineer, lives in Silicon Valley.
The doctor says it’ll be an emotional family reunion – a first get-together since the pandemic began.
One of his three daughters did come home for a bit, but Fauci said she quarantined herself in the “cellar” for two weeks first.
‘I’m still going to work, but I’m going to be with them’
A key piece of the Fauci girls’ decision not to get together with their parents during the height of the pandemic was their dad’s age, a glaring risk factor for COVID-19 complications.
Fauci told NPR last year, he was “proud of their decision” to keep him safe and stay isolated, but the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases also said “I missed a lot of things when they were growing up, so any chance I get to be with them is precious.”
Now, with more than 77% of adults over 65 (like Fauci and his wife) fully vaccinated, the risk calculation for some face time with his daughters feels quite different.
“They’re all vaccinated, I’m vaccinated, my wife is vaccinated. So we’re going to spend some time together,” Fauci said. “That’s going to be my vacation. I’m still going to work, but I’m going to be with them.”
The Faucis have also dealt personally with the violent toll of a pandemic that has killed more than 600,000 Americans.
One of Fauci’s daughter’s boyfriends’ brothers died of COVID-19-related heart complications last year.
“There you have a 32-year-old young man, otherwise healthy – actually, quite athletic and strong – who died,” Fauci said.
With the Delta variant swiftly becoming one of the dominant coronavirus strains in the US, it is possible that some COVID-19 vaccine protection could be penetrated, with a mild, cold-like coronavirus infection. But disease experts like Fauci stress that the most serious, life-threatening cases of this disease can still be kept at bay with vaccines.
“Those who are vaccinated can have a great 4th of July,” Fauci told NBC’s Today show on Wednesday. “I mean, you can just do all the things you wanna do.”
Fauci, and other leading disease experts, are far more concerned about the consequences of unvaccinated Americans catching the virus as new variants spread faster than ever.