In a wide-ranging live-stream interview for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that was moderated by CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, Fauci was asked if any of his friends or family had been personally affected by COVID-19.
“The answer is yes, a few, but one in particular,” Fauci replied. “My youngest daughter’s boyfriend’s brother is a 32-year-old young man, athletic, healthy, who got COVID-19 and had one of the unusual complications of cardiomyopathy with an arrhythmia and died.”
“So there you have a 32-year-old young man, otherwise healthy actually, quite athletic and strong, who died,” Fauci added. “Very sad. Really saddened my daughter greatly.”
Fauci’s comments came as the United States set yet another grim record for daily deaths from COVID-19. On Wednesday, at least 3,124 people died after contracting the coronavirus. Daily infections and hospitalizations also continue to surge nationwide.
The numbers risked becoming “numbing” and a “meaningless cold statistic” unless people “can make the connection between suffering human beings and those enormous numbers,” said Fauci, a staunch advocate for people to do whatever is possible to curb the spread of the virus, such as wearing face masks and socially distancing.
“When you see a real patient in the room, it becomes really real,” he said, later adding: “You don’t want to overwhelm the general public but you want them to understand you are dealing with real suffering and real loss.”
Fauci’s comments came at the 44:40 mark. Watch the full live-stream here: