The novel coronavirus has made its way into many circles this year, sparing virtually no group of people, even including the family of the nation's top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
While nobody in his immediate family was stricken with the virus, Fauci revealed Wednesday, December 9, in an interview with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that a brother of his daughter's boyfriend contracted COVID-19 and died at the age of 32 as a result.
"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," Fauci told the moderator, CNN's Sanjay Gupta.
Fauci did not give the name of the man, but stressed that he seemed just fine before his death. "So there you have a 32-year-old young man, otherwise healthy actually, quite athletic and strong, who died," he said.
Although the tragedy "really saddened" his daughter, Fauci used the facts of that particular death to drive home the message that the virus can affect people of all ages and conditions, not just older or compromised individuals.
"You don't want to overwhelm the general public, but you want them to at least understand that you're dealing with real suffering, and real disease, and real loss in the form of death of loved ones," he noted, adding that he hoped this would be "motivation" for people to take health precautions and safety recommendations seriously.
Fauci has been a more-than-willing source of information on the coronavirus throughout 2020's pandemic, even going so far earlier this year as to speak to panel of A-list celebrities (including Kim Kardashian and others) in a private Zoom session in which they could ask him anything they wanted about COVID-19.
“Each of these stars has enormous numbers of followers on their social media accounts,” Fauci explained his reasoning for participating in the Zoom. “I could say to them, for example, it’s important to wear a mask, and they get on their accounts and say ‘wear a mask’ and it goes out to an additional couple of million people.”