Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed what he hopes the U.S. learned in the pandemic, while being honored at The University of Texas's Ken Shine Lectureship.
The annual lecture held on Thursday by Dell Medical School at UT Austin features the winner of the Ken Shine Prize in Health and Leadership—this year, Dr. Fauci was the honoree.
"You've been a shining light for those of us in our communities that have been working hard to advance science and without you, I think many of us would have felt really completely abandoned," said Dell Medical School's Dean Clay Johnson of Dr. Fauci's leadership.
Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Fauci has been the voice of reason for many and has pushed for more effective COVID-19 projects and procedures every step of the way. Moving forward, he hopes people don't soon forget the damage caused by a lack of preparedness.
"I would hope that we do not forget that and realize that we really do have to take a serious look at pandemic preparedness," said Dr. Fauci in the Zoom-facilitated lecture. "Including the ability to do massive testing, including the ability to restrengthen our local public health system."
While he never laid out any new plans for the forward movement of handling COVID-19, Dr. Fauci certainly had some ideas on how to increase readiness for catastrophes in the future and how the next administration can better inform Americans. In the discussion, he suggested putting out a consistent message.
"When you have a consistent message from leadership, from those who implement, it becomes much easier because there are no chinks in the armor, no gaps that people can capitalize on," Dr. Fauci said.
He went on to speak about a closer working relationship between the states and the federal government. While Dr. Fauci believes there have been "some successes" in that area, there is still significant improvement to be made.
At the end of the lecture, Ken Shine, M.D., former Vice Chancellor for health affairs at the University of Texas System and the man whose name the award bears, was also in attendance and said the closing words in honor of Dr. Fauci:
"In terms of the integrity ... and the candor and the honesty which you represent, those are values, which are critical to our society. No matter how, what area we're talking about, those are values, which you represent to the nth degree."
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