The ACR, on behalf of its more than 7,700 members of the professional rheumatology community, wishes to express strong support for Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and his continued and close involvement in the work to address the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During this national public health emergency, it is vital that we adhere to sound scientific and public health guidance from medical experts, including Dr. Fauci. The ACR urges that scientific evidence shape our decisions and actions as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Fauci has dedicated his life to public service, leading the NIAID since 1984.
Trained in immunology, Dr. Fauci has been recognized as a Master of the ACR, one of the highest honors the College bestows. He has earned the respect of the medical and scientific community and has proven his commitment to relying on science and the best available data as we work collectively to preserve public health in these challenging times.
“Dr. Fauci has a long history with rheumatology,” says Philip Seo, MD, MHS, an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, director of both the Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center and the Johns Hopkins Rheumatology Fellowship Program and physician editor of The Rheumatologist. “When Dr. Fauci first arrived at the NIH as a fellow in immunology and infectious diseases, he was fascinated by patients who had presented with a prolonged fever of unknown origin. A subset of these patients had systemic vasculitis. He received permission from his mentor, Sheldon M. Wolff, MD, to follow these patients closely. Because patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) had high morbidity and mortality, they elected to try a novel approach: low-dose cyclophosphamide in combination with alternating doses of prednisone. The response was dramatic, and the Fauci-Wolff protocol transformed GPA into a chronic disease, characterized by cycles of relapse and remission. Almost all subsequent treatments for systemic vasculitis owe some debt to this initial experience.”
The ACR lauds the government’s financial commitment to vaccine development to address the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Dr. Fauci, as well as other long-term professional leaders from the CDC, FDA, and NIH, should guide and inform the response of the government and the American people as we all work to control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. By following their collective lead, we have the best chance for a speedier mitigation of this deadly virus.
Dr. Fauci will be a featured speaker at ACR Convergence 2020. He will present live on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 4 p.m. EST. Dr. Fauci provided the 2017 ACR Keynote Lecture and discussed the potential for a pandemic in the U.S., and we are honored he will be participating in ACR Convergence 2020.
The ACR continues to provide updated COVID-19 information on its website.