Dr. Anthony Fauci explained that his daughter's boyfriend's brother had "had one of the unusual complications of cardiomyopathy with an arrhythmia"

By Georgia Slater
December 14, 2020
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Dr. Anthony Fauci
| Credit: AL DRAGO/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci is opening up about how the novel coronavirus has personally impacted his own family.

In an interview Wednesday for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the nation's top infectious disease specialist revealed that the brother of his daughter Alison's boyfriend — who he did not name — died after contracting COVID-19.

Asked by moderator Sanjay Gupta, CNN'S chief medical correspondent, if any of Fauci's family or friends had been affected by the virus, Fauci said there was one "very sad" case that came to mind.

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"The answer is yes, a few, but one in particular," Fauci said. "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."

"So there you have a 32-year-old young man, otherwise healthy actually, quite athletic and strong, who died," he continued.

The 79-year-old director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said the death of Alison's boyfriend's brother "really saddened [his] daughter greatly."

Fauci went on to explain that it is important that the public understand the severity of the virus as it can impact people regardless of age.

"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 said.

Credit: Win McNamee/Getty

Adding, "There has to be motivation enough for at least most of the people to adhere to the public health issues and public health recommendations that we make."

Fauci's remarks came one day after the Food and Drug Administration's advisory group found that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective in preventing the virus.

In documents released Tuesday morning, the FDA said the vaccine — which requires two shots administered three weeks apart — is more than 50 percent effective after just the first dose and nearly 100 percent effective after the second. And that effectiveness is true across all age groups and ethnicities, and for people with preexisting conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

On Thursday, the FDA's vaccine advisory panel formally recommended that the FDA authorize the vaccine, according to the New York Times.

The U.S. has purchased 100 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine so far, enough to vaccinate 50 million people because of the two-dose regimen.

The pharmaceutical company said that they may be able to give the U.S. another 50 million doses around the end of June 2021, and 50 million more by about the end of September of next year.

As of Friday morning, there are more than 15.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., while at least 292,747 people have died, according to The New York Times' coronavirus database.

The information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDCWHO, and their local public health department as resources.

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This story originally appeared on people.com