Back in the early days of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke with a private group of celebrities about the coronavirus, as he revealed in a new interview on Sunday (Nov. 8).
According to the doctor, who appeared on CNN, the star-studded Zoom call at the end of April involved a group of 36 celebrities including Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow and Orlando Bloom.
“It was a whole bunch of movie stars and some sports figures,” the nation’s leading authority on the novel coronavirus told the network, “and they wanted to know about what they could do to stay safe, about wearing masks and avoiding crowds. I was impressed by the questions they asked, by their level of sophistication.”
2 Chainz, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis were also among the participants of the virtual chat.
Fauci recognized during the call — which he said was organized by Kardashian — that harnessing the power of the celebrities’ collective fan bases could have massive potential in disseminating life-saving public health information to more millennials, teens and young adults who follow them.
“Each of them has enormous numbers of followers on their social media accounts,” he added. “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.”
In a separate interview with the Washington Post, Fauci has warned of the risk of a second wave of coronavirus infection as the country approaches the fall and winter months. (As of press time, the U.S. has surpassed more than 10 million coronavirus cases nationwide since the beginning of the pandemic, with more than 237,800 deaths from the virus. The country has also set new one-day records as of last week, topping 100,000 new cases in a day for the first time.)
“It’s much more about some of the states like Utah, Nevada, South Dakota, North Dakota, where … they never had a pretty good reserve of intensive care beds and things like that,” Fauci told the paper on Oct. 31 of the latest rising numbers. “I hope they’ll be okay, but it’s still a risk that, as you get more surging, they’re going to run out of capacity.”