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Fauci was forced to miss his daughter’s wedding because he had COVID

Dr. Anthony Fauci tried on his gift of a Holy Cross lab coat at the dedication ceremony for the Anthony S. Fauci Integrated Science Complex on June 11.Michael Ivins/Holy Cross

After being infected with the coronavirus days after attending one celebratory occasion in Massachusetts, Dr. Anthony Fauci was forced to miss another: his daughter’s wedding.

Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser for the pandemic, attended his class reunion at Holy Cross in Worcester earlier this month and tested positive for the virus on a rapid antigen test days later despite being fully vaccinated and having received his two booster shots.

The 81-year-old director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases had gone to his 60th class reunion dinner and the dedication of the Anthony S. Fauci Integrated Science Complex, which the college named in his honor. At least two other attendees also tested positive. It is unclear where Fauci contracted the virus.

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Because of his test result, Fauci — who had thus far managed to avoid the virus — was unable to be there in person for the wedding of his middle daughter, Megan, he told the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert shares three daughters with his wife, Christine Grady, the chief of the department of bioethics at the National Institutes of Health. Daughter Jenny is a clinical psychologist, Megan is a third-grade teacher in New Orleans, and their youngest, Alison, previously worked at Twitter and then spent time as an EMT.

Megan got married in New Orleans a couple of weekends ago, but because of his infection, Fauci had to attend the ceremony remotely. He participated by watching as it unfolded via FaceTime, he told the Post.

Fauci, a self-described “obsessive-compulsive, workaholic,” saw all three of his daughters last summer for the first time since the pandemic began. They had remained apart due to the risks posed by his age.

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He disclosed on Wednesday during a global health forum that he had suffered what seemed to be a “rebound” of COVID after taking the antiviral drug Paxlovid to treat his initial infection.

Despite that, Fauci sought to assuage concerns about Paxlovid, a medication for COVID that some patients say has caused their the symptoms to reappear after taking it. Others have reported testing positive again after finishing the five-day course of treatment.

But Fauci said he believes the treatment, which was developed by Pfizer, not only kept him out of the hospital, but reduced the severity of his initial symptoms.

“Paxlovid did what it was supposed to do,” he told the Times.


Shannon Larson can be reached at shannon.larson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.