Opinion | Anthony Fauci’s work saved countless lives

Opinion | Anthony Fauci’s work saved countless lives

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Anthony S. Fauci is a national treasure. I could not agree more strongly with Michael Gerson’s Oct. 11 op-ed that “Anthony S. Fauci’s legacy will outlast the GOP’s vile attacks.”

On a personal note, Dr. Fauci was instrumental in helping me set up Abbott Laboratories’ (now AbbVie) antiviral drug discovery program in 1987 that led to several lifesaving drugs. As the director✓ of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAID ), Dr. Fauci oversaw a brilliantly conceived public-private partnership between government/universities and Big Pharma/biotech companies to develop new medicines for AIDS. Some 30 years later, Dr. Fauci’s NIAID financed much of Moderna’s high-risk research on mRNA vaccines even before the coronavirus pandemic, and then conducted the pivotal clinical trials with the coronavirus vaccine.

Improving public health has been Dr. Fauci’s driving force; understanding how pathogens and the immune system interact has been his passion. I have been disappointed and disgusted by the attacks on Dr. Fauci’s professionalism and integrity coming from many national political figures, including, sadly , a former president. On a positive note, Dr. Fauci’s legacy lives on in the countless lives that have been and will continue to be saved because of his selfless efforts to promote public health for everybody, even his detractors.

The writer is former director of antiviral research for Abbott Laboratories and the co-inventor of Darunavir for treatment of HIV/AIDS.

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Jorge Oliveira

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