Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, who has been largely absent from television in recent weeks, appears in a new interview conducted by actress Julia Roberts in which he discloses he was getting so little sleep last month he felt like he was “falling apart.”
The interview is part of an initiative in which celebrities are turning over their social media channels to health experts and front-line health workers. According to the organizer, the global nonprofit ONE Campaign, other celebrities participating in the #PassTheMic initiative include Hugh Jackman, Millie Bobby Brown and Danai Gurira.
Roberts appears visibly gleeful as Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, slides into place in the remotely conducted interview, which was posted on YouTube on Wednesday.
Asked by Roberts how he’s doing, Fauci says, “Pretty good, I guess,” before recounting his sleep patterns in response to another query by Roberts.
Fauci, who refers to the actress as “Ms. Roberts,” says he is now getting a “reasonably good” 5½ hours a night.
“Last month, I was getting three, and three doesn’t work any more than two or three days in a row, and I started to really feel like I was falling apart,” Fauci says.
“I’m sorry, sir, but you are not allowed to fall apart,” Roberts says.
“I won’t, I promise,” he responds.
The discussion later turns to more substantive topics, including Fauci’s call to address “the extraordinary health disparities” among countries.
“Right now, if you take southern Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, parts of Asia, South America and even parts of the Caribbean as areas that don’t have the health-care system to be able to respond the way one can respond in New York or L.A. or New Orleans or Chicago, we have really a moral responsibility for people throughout the world,” Fauci says.