Friday, June 5, 2020

Friday, May 22, 2020

Dr. Fauci to Jesuit high school graduates: 'We will get through this'

Dr. Anthony Fauci

By Carol Zimmermann • Catholic News Service • Posted May 18, 2020
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is used to addressing the country about steps to contain the coronavirus, but in mid-May he spoke directly to graduates of the nation’s 60 Jesuit high schools with words of encouragement and congratulations.
“Please, hang in there. We need you to be smart, strong and resilient. With discipline and empathy, we will all get through this together,” he said in a recording sent to Jesuit high schools that many posted on their school websites.
Fauci, who earned the nickname “America’s doctor” years ago and has advised six U.S. presidents on national health concerns, was Jesuit-educated in both high school — at Regis High School in New York — and college — at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The idea to have him talk to Jesuit high school graduates came from Jesuit Father Daniel Lahart, president of Regis High School. He told America magazine he had asked Fauci to record a video message for the school’s online graduation ceremony but that idea expanded to another video message request after another Jesuit school president said he had a similar idea.
So, the Regis president asked if Fauci could do a second, more general message for all Jesuit high school seniors.
The result is a two-and-a-half minute recording that begins with “warm greetings from Bethesda, Maryland” and ends with the doctor’s wishes of congratulations and advice to: “Stay safe and be well as you celebrate this important milestone of your life.”
“Currently, our lives have been upended by a truly historic global pandemic,” Fauci said, adding that he was “profoundly aware that graduating during this time, and virtually, without your friends, classmates and teachers close by is extremely difficult.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington April 5, 2020. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters)
The nation’s top infectious disease expert gave a shoutout to his own Jesuit education by saying he often describes Regis High School as the “best educational experience” he could have imagined. He said it was where he “became immersed in the intellectual rigor of a Jesuit education” and where he picked up key tenets of the Jesuit tradition that have sustained him throughout his life and career.
“Two of these — precision of thought and economy of expression — inform how I think, how I write and how I communicate with the public every day,” he said. He also stressed the Jesuit emphasis on social justice and service is especially important “during the present unsettling times.”
“Now is the time, if ever there was one, for us to care selflessly about one another,” he said.
Father Lahart admitted the video messages were “an audacious ask of someone who is incredibly busy and concerned with worldwide health,” but he also said Fauci “speaks so easily about what his Jesuit education means to him, so I presumed it wouldn’t take him long to film either one.”
“Today, we also can all take pride that the man who is probably the most trusted person in the United States is a graduate of a Jesuit high school and a Jesuit college. He takes great pride in his Jesuit education, and as he proudly professes, it has formed his life and his career,” the priest said.
The same week this video was posted on Jesuit school YouTube accounts, Fauci gave testimony by video before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He is observing a “modified quarantine” after being in contact with a White House staffer who tested positive for the coronavirus.
In his May 12 remarks to Congress, which have drawn criticism from President Donald Trump, Fauci warned some states are reopening too early and risking additional outbreaks of coronavirus cases especially in vulnerable populations.
Reopening too soon, without widespread testing and contact tracing measures, he said, could trigger outbreaks that governments may not be able to control. He also warned that new hot spots could cause unnecessary suffering and deaths and in turn set back efforts to help local economies.
On the day of his testimony, more than 80,684 people in the U.S. had died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and more than 1.3 million people in the country had confirmation they’ve been exposed to it.
Fauci also repeated his call for a vaccine and warned that it likely would not be ready by the next school year.
Although his message to Jesuit school graduates was far less dire, it was not the first time Fauci has been called back to school, so to speak. A year ago, he addressed Regis alumni and waxed nostalgically about his four years there. He also spoke about his career, saying he had been decidedly apolitical and nonideological in his work with six presidential administrations.
Fauci earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush for his work in Africa developing a program to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.
During his Regis talk last May, when asked if there was anything that kept him up at night, Fauci told the group that he sleeps well because his days are usually so long, but he did have one worry.
“I worry about a pandemic,” he told fellow Jesuit alums, saying he was concerned about the potential emergence of a virus that could attack the lungs, similar to the flu that killed millions in 1918 and 1919.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Lates Study Shows Running Helps You Live Longer

By Mandy Oaklander  Time Magazine

November 7, 2019

One major reason Americans don’t get enough exercise is they feel they don’t have enough time. It can be difficult to squeeze in the 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week that federal guidelines recommend; only about half of Americans do, according to the most recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But new research suggests people may be able to get life-lengthening benefits by running for far less time.

In a new analysis of 14 studies, researchers tracked deaths among more than 232,000 people from the U.S., Denmark, the U.K. and China over at least five years, and compared the findings with people’s self-reports about how much they ran. People who said they ran any amount were less likely to die during the follow-up than those who didn’t run at all. Runners were 27% less likely to die for any reason, compared with nonrunners, and had a 30% and 23% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer, respectively. This was true even for those who didn’t log a great deal of time. The analysis grouped people into clusters, with 50 minutes or less per week representing the group that ran the least—but still ran.
 “Regardless of how much you run, you can expect such benefits,” says Zeljko Pedisic, associate professor at the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University in Australia, and one of the authors of the new analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The analysis is the latest to illustrate the benefits of running on the human body. “It’s what we evolved to do,” says Daniel Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University (who was not involved in the new research). People may no longer chase down prey for their next meal, but running is still helping us survive: as leisure-time exercise, it keeps us healthy. “One of the best ways to avoid having to see a doctor,” Lieberman says, “is to stay physically active."
The physical demands of running “affect just about every system of the body” in a beneficial way, Lieberman says. Take the cardiovascular system. Running forces it to adapt by “generating more capacity,” he says. “You grow more capillaries and small arteries, and that helps lower your blood pressure.” (High blood pressure is a major cause of health problems and death.) Running is good at guarding against cancer partly because it uses up blood sugar, starving the cancer cells that rely on it for fuel. And it protects you in other ways not necessarily measured in the latest research: by decreasing inflammation, for example, which is at the root of many diseases, and stimulating the production of a protein that improves brain health, Lieberman says. “Vigorous physical activity has been shown to be by far—with no close second—the best way to prevent Alzheimer’s,” he notes.Bottom of Form you! For your security, we've sent a confirmation email to the address you entered. Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters. If you don't get the confirmation within 10 minutes, please check your spam folder.
The good news for people who want the maximum longevity benefits—while spending the least amount of time slapping one foot in front of the other—is that running more than 50 minutes per week wasn’t linked to additional protections against dying. Neither were how often people ran and the pace they kept. As long as you’re running, more isn’t always better, especially given that the risk of injury increases with repetition.
But both Pedisic and Lieberman advise people not to cling too tightly to that number. “We found no significant trends, but it’s not evidence of no trend,” Pedisic says. “To be able to infer something like that, you would need the whole population measured.” (Important, too, is that the results showed a correlation, not causation.)
Of course, people run for life-giving reasons, not just death-defying ones. “Mortality is an important variable to think about, but there’s also illness, and happiness, and vitality,” Lieberman says. “Some people are running in order to stave off Alzheimer’s, and other people to prevent heart disease, and other people because it makes them feel better and others for depression.” No piece of research—including the latest—can define a truly optimal number after which all health perks wane. But one finding is clear: anything greater than zero m.p.h. is where you’ll reap the biggest benefits.
Write to Mandy Oaklander at
This appears in the November 18, 2019 issue of TIME.