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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the 79-year-old longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is reportedly working 19 hours a day in the fight against the coronavirus. You’ve seen him; he’s the slight, bespectacled, plain-dealing Brooklynite at President Donald Trump’s elbow during most recent press conferences, providing a voice of sound, science-backed reason.
Yet, while many Americans are hoarding toilet paper and cans of baked beans and contemplating whether or not a Mad Men marathon on Netflix counts as a workout, Fauci still finds time to hit the pavement for running workouts.
With his increased age and workload, Fauci has reportedly cut back his daily runs to 3.5 miles per day, as he told Yahoo! White House correspondent Alexander Nasaryan. But back when a younger Fauci was working a lighter, 15-hour day to contain the AIDS epidemic in the ’80s and ’90s, he would build a lunchtime seven-miler into his schedule, five or six days a week, to keep his weight down, get outside and relieve stress. His daily runs helped him to a personal-best 3 hours and 37 minutes in the 1984 Marine Corps Marathon.
And here is Fauci running during a lunch break in 1994. Photo via @NYTArchives. pic.twitter.com/JLBotvY4kt
“I think the benefit for me is as a stress-reliever,” Fauci said in a 2016 interview. “I have a pretty high-stress job, so getting outside during the day and hearing the birds and smelling the grass is a very pleasing thing for me.”
Fauci has advised six presidents on AIDs, Ebola, Zika, MERS, SARS, malaria, tuberculosis and many other domestic and global health issues. However, it’s a good bet his cortisol level has never been higher as he struggles to diplomatically disseminate hard facts without undercutting President Trump.
“When you’re dealing with the White House, sometimes you have to say things one, two, three, four times, and then it happens,” he said in a recent interview with Science Magazine. “So, I’m going to keep pushing.”
At work, and on the road.
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