tv Bloomberg Businessweek Debrief A Conversation With Justin Trudeau Bloomberg May 24, 2019 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT
david: you have a leading infectious disease person in the united states, maybe the world. heavy times a day do you wash your hands? >> i would say maybe nine times. david: is there any evidence that vaccinations cause these diseases? >> absolutely not. david: the president asked what we could do about hiv and aids in africa. >> he felt that we have a moral responsibility. david: the best way to prevent having an infectious disease is what? >> the normal, low-tech, healthy things are the best. >> would you fix your time police? david: people wouldn't -- >> would you fix your tie,
please?-- david: people wouldn't recognize me if i fixed my tie. i wouldn't consider myself a journalist. nobody else would consider myself a journalist. i began taking on the life of an interviewer even though i have a day job running a private equity firm. how do you define leadership? what is it that makes somebody take? tick? anthony here with dr. -- who is director of the national institutes of health, which he has led for 35 years. that is a longtime to be leading institute. is that a record? >> it is. david: you haven't gotten tired of doing this? >> no, because things keep changing. it is a must like a different job every year or two.
david: i always worried about getting a flu, so if i want to avoid catching the flu, should i get a flu shot? >> yes. influenza vaccination clearly protect you. it does not protect you 100% and it varies from year to year, but the best way to avoid influenza is to get your flu shot every year. david: do you get one every year? >> i do. david: i don't always get them and i will sell you why. i am afraid i will get the influenza shot for a different flu comes out this season. is that a problem? >> influenza tends to drift or change from season to season and essentially every year you get vaccinated with a vaccine that we hope matches well with the circulating virus. it is possible that you make a vaccine against one and changed a little by the time the season comes and then it isn't the best match. it is still always better to get vaccinated. , about 100years ago
million people in the world were killed by influenza. why was that? >> it was a pandemic. that is a virus known had any previous experience with. it happened to be one that spread rapidly. is the something like that not likely to happen again? >> hopefully not as severe. we had a pandemic in 2009. h1n1, the swine flu of 2009. it was a pandemic because it was a brand new virus. the good news is that it was not particularly. . -- it is not particularly virul ent. david: how many times you wash your hands? >> at least 6-8 times. david: does that look bad if you
shake someone's hand and wash them right away? >> don't take it obvious. a fear that when someone is ready to cough, they get close to me. whenever i am in a movie theater , as soon as i walked past me, that is when they cough. theater, i gote to monica play great value. do you have this problem and what do you say to somebody -- rightbubonic plague behind me. do you have this problem and what do you say to somebody? >> to try to distance someone, we call that social distancing. sometimes you get trapped. last winter, i was trapped on a flight with a woman who was doing just that. she was wheezing and coughing. i couldn't tell her to get out of there. sure enough, five days after i got back, i got sick. david: let's talk about humans in the background and infectious
diseases. when humans first came out of caves, let's say 300,000 years ago, they had an average life expectancy of 20 years old. today, average life expectancy is 18 years old. our infectious diseases a large are the problem? infectiousot just diseases, it was survival under severe environmental circumstances. century,ok at the 19th there were infectious diseases before the vaccines. vaccines and the parallax greatly increase the life expectancy, because many children died. when children die, the average life expectancy goes down. david: what was the bubonic plague? >> that was a bacteria. the bacteria was spread through
fleas that were in situations in which hygiene was not very good. they would bite somebody, they would get infected. there are two types of play. the bubonic plague were people would get swollen lymph nodes, they generally don't spread it from person-to-person, then youe was a plague in which could cough and transmit it to somebody. it devastated europe in the 14th century. one third of the population of europe died from the plague. david: the chance of that happening again is remote. >> not that micro, because it is easily treatable. david: i remember reading what the revolutionary war, some people would get inoculated against smallpox. how did they do that? when did people first realize you could get an ocular did against a disease? 1796.t was in
edward jenner noticed an interesting phenomenon, that smallpox was rampant in society and the women who would be milking the cows, they would get a relatively mild disease called cowpox, related to smallpox, and he noticed they would get it and recover from it, but then be immune to smallpox. he put two and two together and said if we could deliberately infect people with a version of smallpox, namely cowpox, that they would be protected against smallpox. he did an experiment on a young boy, which retrospectively was an unethical experiment, because he vaccinated the boy with this cowpox, then challenged the boy with smallpox and he was protected. that started at the end of the 18th century. david: in the modern era there , has been some concern about vaccinations. some people think it causes disease or could cause autism.
is there any evidence that being vaccinated causes these diseases? dr. fauci: absolutely not. it is unfortunate, because there is a lot of misinformation being spread widely, leading to a diminution in the percentage of parents who vaccinate their children, particularly measles. that is why today we are seeing completely avoidable measles outbreaks throughout the country and throughout the world. there is one now in new york city in the williamsburg section of brooklyn that is quite alarming. david: let's talk about a few other infectious diseases. tuberculosis? is that still a problem? dr. fauci: less in the united states, but globally it is a problem. it is a terrible problem. there are 10 million new cases of tuberculosis each year and 1.6 to 1.8 million deaths every year. david: have you catch tuberculosis? -- how do you catch
tuberculosis? dr. fauci: it is a respiratory spread. if you get close and prolonged contact with somebody who has tuberculosis, that is how it is transmitted. david: how about malaria? dr. fauci: malaria is a parasite being transmitted by mosquito. you get it by mosquito bite and only by mosquito bite. rarely can you get it from being transfused with blood someone who has malaria, but that is very unusual. mostly it is a mosquito bite that transmits malaria. david: you avoid mosquitoes, you will not get malaria. dr. fauci: exactly. david: president george w. bush asked you what we could do about hiv and aids in africa. dr. fauci: he felt we have a moral responsibility. we have treatment, care and prevention that has saved 14 million to 15 million lives. ♪
ago in nonhuman primates, then jumped species from the chimpanzees to humans. david: is that a common thing? dr. fauci: 70% to 75% of all new infections that man gets infected with come from an animal. it is predominantly an animal virus, but encroaching upon the environment, mutating a bit -- influenza is fundamentally an infection of birds. hiv came from chimpanzees. other infections come from an animal. david: in africa, the health abilities we have in the united states are not prevalent, so hiv and aids is still a big problem there. dr. fauci: we better not downplay it in the united states. there are 38,000 to 40,000 new infections in the united
states. it is concentrated geographically and demographically. 12% of the population is african-american, and yet 45% to 50% of new infections with hiv are among african-americans. david: when president george w. bush was president, he asked you to come to the oval office and ask you -- and asked you what you could do about hiv, aids in africa. dr. fauci: he sent me to africa to do a fact-finding and come back with the feasibility of doing something. he told me that he felt as a rich nation that we have a moral responsibility now that we have drugs that can treat and prevent infection the other individuals because of where they live they don't have access to that, they will essentially die from the disease merely because of where they were born and raised, i.e. in the developing world, so he sent me to africa to figure if we can treat, care, and prevent.
we put together a program called the president's emergency program. that is probably one of the most important parts of the george w. bush legacy, because that has saved now about 14 million to 15 million lives thus far, and more coming merely by providing sub-saharan africa and other countries with the proper drugs that can save lives and prevention. david: who is paying for this? the u.s. government. dr. fauci: the u.s. government pays for the program, then we have the global fund to fight aids, tb, and malaria, and the u.s. pays one third of that. david: we are at the nih offices. we are in an office where research is done on ebola. can you explain it and what the problem is right now in the congo? dr. fauci: ebola is another virus, a lethal virus. if left untreated it has a high , rate of mortality,
depending on how you get treated or cared for, it can be anywhere from 60% to 90%. it is spread by direct contact between an individual who is very sick and has body fluids that are easily contaminating the people to take care of them. it is highly lethal and now a major outbreak in the democratic republic of the congo. it is still not under control. david: when some people with ebola came to the u.s., you were involved in treating them? dr. fauci: i took care of two patients. one was a nurse who got infected when she was treating a person who came from liberia. i took care of her. another person who got sick in sierra leone, my team and i took care of him. david: when you take care of them, i remember pictures you , have to wear like a spacesuit. dr. fauci: it is very difficult. they are very sick.
you have to take care of them under intensive care circumstances. you have to put on literally a spacesuit to protect every single square inch of your body from being exposed to the contaminating fluids. david: you are the head of the division -- the institute. wouldn't it have been easier to get someone below you isn't as valuable to do that work? dr. fauci: that was the exact reason i did it. we all knew that health-care workers in africa at the time were getting sick in large numbers and dying. 800 health care workers got infected in africa during that outbreak, and 500 died, so i did not like the idea of asking my staff to put themselves at risk of getting infected if i was not willing to do it myself. david: what did your wife and three daughters say about the fact you were going to be doing this? dr. fauci: they were not happy. my wife was a nurse, so she
understands disease. she supported me but asked, do you really want to do that? i said i think i have to do it because it is my team and i did not want to put them at risk for something i was not willing to do myself. david: the best treatment is liquids, flushing out? dr. fauci: it is essentially intensive care. the patient we took care of here at nih was one of the sickest patients i ever treated. i have taken care of thousands -- david: what happened? dr. fauci: he is alive and well and back home now with his family. this is what ebola looks like. it is like a thread, the latin word for thread. in 1995, there was an outbreak in the democratic republic of the congo. a person who survived ebola, this man here, came to the nih. we took his cells, cloned them
and make the antibody, which means we made him produce an antibody in large amounts that actually binds to this protein right here. david: right. dr. fauci: this antibody as we are speaking is being tested in the democratic republic of the congo as one of the potential treatments for ebola. david: somebody comes to me and says i had ebola and i am ok now, it is ok to shake their hand? dr. fauci: yeah. you may remember when we discharged the young nurse who got infected in texas and i discharged her from the nih and we had a press conference and i put my arm around her and hugged her and it made the front page of the washington post. the reason i did that deliberately was to show the rest of the world that when you recover -- david: what did your wife say? dr. fauci: she thought it was fine. david: this is something you decided you wanted to do in medical school?
>> when i was in graduate school, i worked on hiv. nobody knew much about ebola then, but i noticed that the glycoprotein that hiv uses had some similarities to the glycoproteins that ebola uses, so i thought this would be a good opportunity to make headway into a new disease that people did not know much about. dr. fauci gave me that opportunity. david: the best way to prevent an infectious disease is what? wearing a mask? dr. fauci: no, no, no. david: if someone is getting ready to sneeze or cough, walk away? dr. fauci: you avoid the paranoid aspects and do something positive. good diet, you don't smoke, get good sleep. i think that the normal low-tech, healthy things are the best things you can do to stay
david: let's talk about your background. you grew up in brooklyn. you went to catholic school. dr. fauci: catholic elementary school, high school, holy cross college. david: did you always know you wanted to be a doctor? did you think you wanted to be something more important like a lawyer, a private equity investor, something like that? dr. fauci: [laughter] well, i can't say i always felt i wanted to be a doctor. i was very interested in the humanities. i took classical courses, because i went to a jesuit school, greek, latin, philosophy, but an interest in the humanities, i also had an aptitude and interest in science. i figured the best way to combine an interest in the humanities with science is to be a physician. david: you first came to nih in
1968. dr. fauci: correct. when you were here, -- david: when you were here, there were a lot of other people. some of them have gone on to win nobel prizes. dr. fauci: mike brown. joe goldstein. they all won nobel prizes. david: how come you have not won a nobel prize yet? dr. fauci: [laughter] i am the stupid one in the group. actually my work, i probably , would not have won one anyway. my work was on rotter global health issues. they discovered exciting, specific things. david: you have won the presidential medal of freedom. dr. fauci: i have. david: is there any award in medicine you have not won? dr. fauci: the nobel prize. david: i would nominate you if i knew how to do that. you have written 1,200 articles, co-authored, edited. how do you have time to do 1,200 articles and run the institute
and treat patients? dr. fauci: one, my career has been long. doing all of that, taking care patients, running a lab be institute and getting involved in global health policy is -- i just explained it, i work a lot of hours. i am an unapologetic workaholic and love what i do. david: how do you stay in good shape? dr. fauci: i used to run marathons. two or three years ago, i stopped running every day. i used to run about six miles per day. and now i power walk three to four miles every day. david: you are generally not sick? dr. fauci: generally pretty healthy. david: if you get sick and you go to the doctor's office, you're sitting in the office don't people , get nervous you are sitting there? david: they don't -- dr. fauci: they don't get nervous it is a good , advertisement for the dr. i go to. the doctor must be pretty good. david: many people have come to you and said why don't you leave and do something more lucrative?
in fact, i came to you once and said what are you coming to private equity -- what are you come into private equity -- why don't you come into private equity? dr. fauci: i felt that i looked what i am doing. it is so exciting that that is what drives me. it is not as though those professions are unworthy. i just like what i am doing. there are still many challenges. we need an hiv vaccine. tuberculosis and malaria are still major killers. particularly in the developing world. those are things we have the opportunity to do something about, so i would like to continue to work until i can't work anymore and concentrate on those problems. david: you have worked under many different presidents. who was the most impressive? dr. fauci: they were all different. i don't want to be pitting one against the other. i enjoyed very much the clinton administration, really quite enjoyable working with not only
president clinton, but hillary clinton. the person who was the warmest of them all, an amazing gentleman, was george h w bush when he was president. he was the first when i got to know as a president. i got to know reagan, but not much. george h.w. bush extended himself to me when he wanted to learn about what hiv was because he wanted to do something about it. david: as you look back on your career what would you say are , the characteristics that make somebody a leader? things i: one of the tell people, because i feel it strongly as if you are leading an organization of some sort that has a purpose or a mandate, that as the leader you have to articulate to the people you are leading exactly what your vision is and where you want the organization to go, because i have seen issues in which there was not good leadership, where an organization don't know where they are supposed to be going. if you let them know which revision is, hire the best people, and don't get in your
way, that is the quality of a good leader. david: let's suppose i get an infectious disease and want to be one of your patients. how do i do that? dr. fauci: you get your doctor to give me a call or send me an email. if you have a disease that falls under one of the categories that we study, then we would be happy to see you. david: the best way to prevent getting an infectious disease is what? wearing a mask? dr. fauci: no, no, no. david: i can see somebody is ready to sneeze or cough, walk away? dr. fauci: you avoid all the paranoid aspects and do something positive. good diet, you don't smoke, i know. i know you don't drink, at least not very much. that's pretty good. get some exercise. i know you don't get as much exercise as you should. david: that is correct. dr. fauci: get good sleep.
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