- Dr. Fauci said in a WSJ event that he feels compelled to read and reply to his thousands of daily emails.
- “I get asked a lot of questions that are medical questions [from] people who need help,” Fauci said.
- “People tell me that, ‘why don’t you just wipe the screen clean?'” he said. “You can’t do that. You just can’t.”
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Wednesday that he feels an urge to reply to each of the thousands of emails that fall into his inbox every day.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease said in the Wall Street Journal’s online Tech Health event that he feels a “responsibility” to respond to the mountain of emails, per CNBC. He sometimes stays up “late into the night” responding, he said.
“I am the type of person, I get asked a lot of questions that are medical questions [from] people who need help,” Fauci said. “I’ve never been able to lose that feeling of responsibility of when people reach out to you and ask for help that you respond to them. So, I do that, [and] that takes a lot of time.”
Fauci, the US’s top infectious-disease expert, wrote in an email to a friend in March 2020 that he was receiving more than 2,000 emails a day, according to emails obtained by Buzzfeed and The Washington Post.
The emails showed requests for advice, interviews, and keynote speeches.
“I spend a lot of time doing emails and sometimes late into the night,” Fauci said at Journal’s Tech Health event.
“A lot of the emails are people that really do need to get some feedback from you,” Fauci said. He sends most of his emails from his desktop computer, or “my iPhone when I’m moving around,” he said.
The 80-year-old said he feels like he can’t delete his emails because of his role as a medical expert during a global pandemic.
“People tell me that, ‘why don’t you just wipe the screen clean?'” he said. “You can’t do that. You just can’t.”
In one of the emails that Fauci received, a US health official told him that “doggie cones” could be used as personal protective equipment (PPE), per The Post. Fauci replied with a polite thank you.