Before there was Dr. Anthony Fauci – whom you see at every COVID-19 briefing in the United States, there was Dr. Thomas Tuttle who shepherded Washington through the devastating 1918-19 influenza pandemic.
More than a century ago, Dr. Thomas Tuttle was Washington’s Health Commissioner. During the Spanish Flu, he wasn’t always popular — even when he was right. The epidemiologist prescribed face masks and social distancing to slow the influenza pandemic.
Hundreds year later, i.e. in 2020, another American physician and immunologist Dr. Anthony Stephen Fauci, who looks so much like Dr. Tuttle, was first to direct people to maintain social distance and wear masks from the beginning.
Dr. Fauci can be seen answering questions related to COVID-19 at press briefings in the United States and on various news channels. He is a physician at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the head of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Dr. Fauci, who has emerged as the main figure behind America’s response to COVID-19, has also predicted that it will take 18 months to have a COVID-19 vaccine.
What is interesting about his response to this pandemic is that it is very similar to Dr. Thomas Tuttle, who had served as Washington Health Commissioner and supervised the response to 1918-19 influenza pandemic in the State.
The resemblance between these two is uncanny as both of them advised people to avoid social gatherings and wear masks, alerted the authorities about asymptomatic transmissions, advised people to quarantine themselves and warned about the eventual resurgence of the disease.
Ironically, both of them also faced disagreements from various sides, as the government and public did not initially agree with their proposed restrictions.
Apart from these similarities, both Dr. Tuttle and Dr. Fauci attended Ivy League medical schools, and both were commissioned officers in the United States Public Health Service.
Recently, Dr. Fauci has been contradicted by major scientists like John Ioannidis, a professor of medicine, epidemiology, and population health at Stanford University.
As opposed to Dr. Fauci, he has deemed the current restrictions overly strict as the fatality rate of COVID-19 may be lower than what has been predicted due to the presence of asymptomatic cases.
Irrespective of all the opposition, Dr. Fauci has continued to give his valuable advice on the measures to fight the coronavirus disease COVID-19.