BRISTOL, RI ( Associated Press) – Dr. Anthony Fauci on Friday urged graduates of Roger Williams University to fight against the “generalization of untruths” that has become a growing and more troubling problem during the COVID-19 pandemic Is.
Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and the face of the federal government’s response to the coronavirus, was the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony, but addressed students at the private Rhode Island college from afar as they attended a memorial service for a family member. was to participate.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have experienced for the first time something that has upset and saddened me – a deep division in our country,” he said. “Unfortunately, differences of opinion or ideology result from deliberate distortions of reality, fabrication, conspiracy theories, and outright lies.”
He asked the students to apply the analytical skills they had learned during their time at the university to challenge and discard the untruths, which he called a threat to the nation.
“Reject the politicization of science that discredits evidence and facts,” he said.
Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which has advised eight presidents, was one of four people to receive an honorary degree during preparatory practice at the school in Bristol.
Fauci said the pandemic has also exposed the health inequalities experienced by some members of society, including black and indigenous populations.
“Let our collective memory of the health inequalities faced during this pandemic not fade away, but inspire us to fulfill the long-term commitment that will be needed to address the root causes of health disparities,” he said. said. “I strongly urge you to be a part of that effort.”
He said the pandemic has also shown the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration. It was this collaboration that led to a “truly unprecedented achievement” – the development and authorization of effective COVID-19 vaccines within a year of the virus being identified, which according to him has saved millions of lives worldwide.
Others receiving honorary degrees were US Attorney for Massachusetts Rachel Rollins; Chief Justice of the US District Court in Rhode Island, John N. McConnell, Jr.; and retired state Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis X. Flaherty.