Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and chief medical advisor to the President of the United States, spoke to nurses and other healthcare professionals during the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI), the annual conference of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), the world’s largest specialty nursing association with more than 130,000 members.
“ICU nurses throughout the country...They're the great heroes and heroines and everybody in the world knows that,” he said. “You never realize you're living through history when you're living through it. It's tough now, but when it's over and you think back about it, you will have done a historic thing.”
AACN President Elizabeth Bridges, PhD, RN, CCNS, FCCM, FAAN, conducted the virtual interview with Dr. Fauci for NTI attendees, with a discussion about how his past experience with the HIV epidemic almost 40 years ago prepared him for this past year and his hopes for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Serious COVID-19 is a disease that was made for the intensive care nurse,” he said. “This is a disease that's in your hands. It really is. As much as developing a vaccine and developing drugs is in my hands as a scientist and a public health person, the on-the-ground, in-the-trenches responsibility and success of this is in the hands of the people who are taking care of these people.”