In a wide-ranging livestream interview for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, moderator Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, asked Fauci if any of his friends or family had been personally affected by COVID-19.
“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,” Fauci added. “Very sad. Really saddened my daughter greatly.”
Fauci’s comments came as the United States set yet another grim death toll record: On Wednesday, at least 3,124 people died after contracting COVID-19. Daily infections and hospitalizations also continue to surge nationwide.
Fauci said there is a risk that the numbers of deaths and infections risk becoming a “meaningless cold statistic” unless people “can make the connection between suffering human beings and those enormous numbers.”
“When you see a real patient in the room, it becomes really real,” he said, later adding, “You don’t want to overwhelm the general public but you want them to understand you are dealing with real suffering and real loss.”
Watch the full livestream below. (Fauci’s comments about his daughter come at the 44:40 mark.)