Dr. Anthony Fauci has emerged as a voice of wisdom and science amid the fear and misinformation of the international coronavirus nightmare.

Fauci is a physician, immunologist and — since the Reagan administration — director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

From arthritis to AIDS, the work that has come from his laboratory has been recognized as critical in advancing our understanding of disease and our ability to address medical need.

Now he has the greatest challenge of his career: the COVID-19 virus that has killed thousands, shut down huge parts of society and spawned a second and equally pernicious infection — bad science.

Often the crisis has made him the bearer of bad news.

When others — including President Donald Trump — have rushed to trumpet promising but unproven possible treatments, Fauci has been the voice of calm honesty and necessary prudence.

Fauci has downplayed any distance between himself and Trump, saying the president listens to him carefully and sometimes speaks as the voice of hope, which is “not unreasonable.”

“The one thing I can tell you, every time I speak to him about something he listens carefully and weighs it,” Fauci told The Washington Post. “He’s responsible for much more than what I’m responsible for.”

We suspect that no one wants a breakthrough more than Dr. Fauci but respect his ability to distinguish between interesting leads and certain science. To his credit, he has been the one insisting that we must not short-circuit the proven methods of science — our protections against false hope and dangerous treatments.

In a sense, Anthony Fauci has become the nation’s primary care physician, and we’ve learned that he will give it to us straight and authoritatively. In a time when trust is in short supply, we trust Fauci.

He deserves a Nobel Prize.

Actually, he deserves two: one for medicine and one for peace.


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