Health and Wellness

Dr. Fauci hasn't taken a day off in 14 months — 'I don't have any time to worry about how tired I am'

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Susan Walsh | Pool | Getty Images

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he hasn't taken a day off in over a year. The nation's leading infectious disease expert said it's been "a surrealistic year" with "literally 24/7" work, during an interview with Now This News published April 17.

"I haven't had a day off in 14 months, but other than that, I'm doing fine," Fauci, 80, told Now This News' Zinhle Essamuah. "You just adapt yourself to it."

At the start of the pandemic, Fauci said that he was only sleeping three hours a night. "I did that for a few weeks, and it almost killed me. It really wore me down badly," Fauci told National Geographic in May 2020. He described his workload as "like drinking from a firehose."

In a December interview with the Huffington Post, Fauci said that his typical workday is 18 hours long.

Fauci's daily schedule consists of speaking to the press about the pandemic, answering emails, attending Zoom meetings and tending to patients, he told the Huffington Post in December. Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been seeing patients everyday at the National Institute of Health's Clinical Center for the past 40 years.

To unwind, Fauci powerwalks three miles at the end of the day with his wife, Christine Grady, who is a nurse bioethicist.

The Covid pandemic is a problem that is "too immense" to walk away from, Fauci told Now This News. More than 560,000 Americans have died to date.

"I don't have any time to worry about how tired I am or how I'm feeling," Fauci said. "I'll worry about that later."

In an interview with Stat News in November, Fauci was asked whether he's ever considered quitting given the immense stress and demands of his job.

"Not even close, no," Fauci said. "It's not even in my DNA. To quit? I'm a public health official, I'm a scientist." Fauci has served served seven consecutive presidents over the course of his career.

Fauci and his family have faced harassment and death threats since the pandemic began, and have required personal security detail. "The death threats continue," he told Now This News, "but I'm doing fine."

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