In a 40-minute live interview, Matthew McConaughey asked Dr. Fauci all the questions we’ve been wanting answers to
Because of the way leadership in the U.S. has handled the coronavirus pandemic, Americans have often been left without answers, or with conflicting advice from health officials and politicians who are at odds with one another. We don’t have a unified response to the virus in this country, and it’s left us with a lot of questions. Luckily for us, one very calm, soothing personality has stepped up to the plate to help us get the answers we need: Matthew McConaughey.
In a wide-ranging, 40-minute interview on Instagram live, McConaughey discussed the pandemic with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the face of America’s response to the coronavirus. Among the topics they covered: Why it’s so important to flatten the curve, when we might expect a widely available vaccine, and how the virus has become so heavily politicized.
First things first, McConaughey rattled off some rapid-fire questions for Dr. Fauci.
“OK, true-false: Sunlight kills the virus?” he asked.
“It does,” Fauci replied. “That’s the truth.”
What about letting the virus run its course through the population until we achieve herd immunity?
Not an option, Fauci told McConaughey, because of how many people would die if that were our national strategy.
“The death toll would be enormous and totally unacceptable,” he explained. “And that’s the reason why we’re against saying, ‘Let it fly. Let everybody get infected and we’ll be fine.’ That’s a bad idea.”
In one part of the interview that’s likely to interest a lot of Americans, McConaughey and Fauci talked about when a vaccine for the coronavirus might become available. Scientists around the world are racing to develop one, and many are already in late-stage clinical trials.
“True or false: We are a minimum of six months from a vaccine, but more likely a year or more out?” McConaughey asked.
Fauci replied with some good news.
“No… likely the end of this current year, the beginning of 2021… moderate numbers of doses will be available. As we get more into 2021, we should have enough for everybody,” he said.
Fauci did add that no vaccine is 100 percent effective, but he’ll be happy with one that works for 50-70 percent of people.
He was also very frank about the choices Americans will have to make in the coming weeks. “You want to open the bars or you want to open the schools?” he said.
Toward the end of the interview, things turned somber as McConaughey expressed some of his feelings about how the Trump administration and many Americans have tried to put their own political spin on the coronavirus, which has killed nearly 200,000 people in the U.S. alone.
“Like a lot of people, I’ve been more than disillusioned — actually quite full of rage — at how COVID has been politicized,” McConaughey said, adding that people have been “looking for identity and purpose in a big time of unknown. And man, so many people have become disillusioned with our leadership. But also so many people have fervently [clung] to the fringes of the right and left, which causes further divide a lack of unity.”
But Fauci ended the interview on more of a note of hope. He likened the pandemic crisis to something like WWII or 9/11, that would ultimately bring Americans together.
“This is equivalent to that, Matthew. We’ve got to pull together, absolutely,” he said.
“That’s it. … We can have our freedom and our party later. Right now, let’s pull together.”