Takeaways from the informative Steph Curry and Dr. Anthony Fauci coronavirus Q&A

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What we learned from informative Steph Curry-Dr. Fauci coronavirus Q&A

Logan Murdock | NBC SPORTS

Warriors guard Steph Curry usually relays messages from the comfort of a controlled press conference.

Curry did so from his couch Thursday morning, interviewing Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, on Instagram Live to shed light on the pandemic-causing COVID-19.

The idea of the 30-minute interview was cultivated last week, according to a league source, following Fauci’s appearance on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast. David Schwab  — executive vice president of sports management company Octagon, which represents Curry– called on athletes to use their platforms to interview figures like Fauci.

Following Schwab’s tweet, Curry’s representatives reached out to Schwab, who acted as an intermediary between Curry’s team and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The idea was to target young people who aren’t getting their news from cable news channels.

Fauci discussed a number of topics during the interview, including testing and social distancing. The United States has over 80,000 confirmed cases as of Thursday, according to The Wall Street Journal. The NBA suspended its season earlier this month after Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus.

Many initially thought the coronavirus carried similar symptoms and risks as the flu, Fauci said Thursday the coronavirus has shown to be  “10 times” worse than influenza.

“It’s similar in that it’s a respiratory illness that’s transmitted by the respiratory route,” Fauci said. “It gives a degree of pathology that it’s very, very much more transmissible than flu and more importantly, it’s significantly more serious.”

The number of coronavirus cases nationwide is disputed due to limited access to testing equipment. On Thursday’s chat, Fauci said that more tests are expected to be available with the help of private labs.  

“That’s been a real issue early on,” Fauci said. “Several weeks ago we were not in a place we wanted to be or needed to be.”

“Right now there are literally hundreds of thousands of tests out there,” he added. “Mostly because we got the private sector involved.”

The coronavirus can cause respiratory problems, including cough, fever, shortness of breath and, more severely, pneumonia. While elders and people with weak immune systems typically are more susceptible, Fauci said younger patients should beware of the virus as well.

“Very heavily weighted towards the elderly and those underlying conditions,” he said. “ … Those are the people who have a higher degree of mortality,” he said. “But what we are starting to see is people who are younger … who don’t have any underlying conditions, who are getting seriously ill. It’s still a very small minority, but it doesn’t mean that young people like yourself should say, ‘I’m completely exempt from any risks of getting seriously ill.’ “

States have begun implementing social distancing measures in recent weeks to encourage citizens to stay at home in order to limit the coronavirus’ spread. California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered residents to stay in their homes and closed non-essential businesses last week in an effort to “flatten the curve” of the virus’ impact on hospitals and public-health systems.

Fauci expressed optimism about beating the coronavirus if citizens continue to practice social distancing.

“If we really push, we hope we will know by the time we get to next winter whether or not we have something that works,” Fauci said. “Vaccines are going to be important for next time around, not for what we’re dealing with now.”

Barack Obama comments in Steph Curry’s coronavirus Q&A with Dr. Fauci

Drew Shiller | NBC SPORTS

On Thursday morning, Warriors superstar Steph Curry hosted a coronavirus Q&A via Instagram with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Did Barack Obama — the 44th president of the United States — participate in the session?

You bet he did.

One of Obama’s comments: “Listen to the science. Do your part and take care of each other. Thank you, Steph and Dr. Fauci.”

Former Warriors forward Andre Iguodala made sure to check in on the event as well.

Great stuff all the way around.

Dr. Fauci tells Steph Curry how sports could return amid coronavirus

Dalton Johnson | NBC SPORTS

Amid the NBA coming to a halt during the coronavirus pandemic, Steph Curry continues to have his most meaningful assists off the court.

He did so again Thursday when he held a Q&A on Instagram Live with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as well as a lead member of the White House’s coronavirus taskforce. Thousands upon thousands of people tuned into the talk, including former President Barack Obama.

Curry himself asked Fauci what kind of numbers the doctor is looking at, and what needs to be done in order for sports can return to play. 

“What you need is to see the trajectory of the curve start to come down,” Fauci explained. “We’ve seen that in China. They went up and down and are starting to get back to some normal life. They have to be careful they don’t re-introduce the virus back into China. But they’re on the other side of the curve. Korea is starting to do that, they’re starting to come down. Europe, particularly Italy, are in a terrible situation. They’re still going way up.

“The United States is a big country. We have so many different regions — like New York City right now is having a terrible time, and yet there are places in the country that are really doing quite well. … So a direct answer to your question, we can start think about getting back to some degree of normality when the country as a whole has turned that corner and starts coming down.

“Then you can pinpoint cases much more easily than getting overwhelmed by cases, which is what’s going on in New York City.” 

Dr. Fauci did not give a timeline or date of when he believes the NBA or any other sport can continue play. 

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, March 11. Commissioner Adam Silver immediately suspended the season. Nine other players, including Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, have tested positive since then. The league has every intention of resuming play at some point, though, no date has been set. 

Curry has been vocal in this time of need, preaching the practice of social distancing. He and Warriors coach Steve Kerr have used their platforms to reach as many people as possible in order to make sure we’re all responsible and looking out for each other. 

As of this publishing, there have been 68,827 known cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and 1,009 deaths, according to NBC News.