It very much feels like you are a general in this war, in this moment. So what is a typical day like for you?
You’re right. We are in a war.
You get up, there’s a lot of people who need information, which is the reason I’m talking to you right now. There are journalists, there are congressmen, there are governors, there are legislators, there are people in the federal government that constantly need briefing.
I also am running a very large institute that’s responsible for making the vaccines and for developing the drugs. So I come in for a couple of hours, get things on the right track here, and then I spend more than half the day at the White House with various meetings. I’m with the vice president for hours at a time. I see the president himself at least an hour a day and maybe more. And then I go back home and I have a thousand things to do.
And then you’re lucky if you get to bed before midnight and then you get up at 4 or 5 in the morning.
What are some of your biggest focuses now?
My biggest concern is that we now have a 30-day extension of the guideline mitigation. And we’ve got to get the American people to really appreciate that.
We should be prepared to adequately address the inevitable rebound that you will see once you start pulling back on the restrictions and the mitigations.
I had a very interesting conversation just this morning with colleagues from literally all over the world on the weekly telephone conference call that the W.H.O. sponsors. And it was interesting to me that some of the most cogent concerns of people from different countries, I mean all over — European, African, Australian, Canadian — was that we need to make sure we keep our eye on the balance of, if you’re too stringent in things like lockdowns and keeping people under wraps for a long period of time, you may have the unintended consequence of triggering, from an economic and societal standpoint, such a disruption that you get things like poverty and health issues unrelated to the coronavirus.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
Melissa Clark provided the recipe, and Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at email@example.com.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about the role of state governors in the coronavirus outbreak.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Season-long plot (three letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Jenna Wortham, a writer for The Times Magazine and a co-host of our “Still Processing” podcast, spoke to Vanity Fair about her working-from-home routine.