Amid the COVID-19 pandemic response, Dr. Anthony Fauci has become one of the most trusted voices in America (Business Insider). That is chiefly due to his extensive education and decades of experience as an infectious disease specialist, and that his base of knowledge is embedded in science, data and facts. Yet, there’s something more to Dr. Fauci that makes us want to hear him, trust his intentions, and believe in his recommendations – candor.
Dr. Fauci speaks truthfully, directly and respectfully about hard-hitting topics – pandemic death rates, testing, treatments and vaccines. When Dr. Fauci speaks, his foundation is the truth, with no ego:
Make sure that you always tell the absolute truth and don’t hold back data. ~ Dr. Fauci, in an interview with KK Ottesen for Washington Post Magazine, March 25, 2020
When asked by Ottesen if he has different messages for different people:
No. No. I tell it like it is.
Another facet of his credibility is non-bias:
You stay completely apolitical and non-ideological, and you stick to what it is that you do. I’m a scientist and I’m a physician. And that’s it. ~ Dr. Fauci, The New Yorker Magazine, April 10, 2020
Dr. Fauci is transparent; he admits that he is often addressing an unknown and that the science and data are continuing to develop. He commits to presenting additional information as soon as he knows more, and he delivers on that promise. He is patient and calm, never patronizing or condescending, willingly repeating the same information and answers hundreds of time over.
Nobody is a more tireless champion of the truth and the facts. I am not entirely sure what we would do without [Tony]. ~ David Relman, a Stanford University microbiologist who advises the government on biological threats. (The New Yorker Magazine)
Dr. Fauci is nailing best practices for crisis communication – articulate the truth, acknowledge when you don’t know all the answers yet; speak directly, without blame or diversion; and communicate with respect.