Fauci speaks virtually at Roger Williams University commencement

BRISTOL, R.I. (WLNE) — Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke virtually during the Roger Williams University commencement on Friday. Sen. Jack Reed introduced the chief medical advisor to the president at the ceremony.

Fauci was initially scheduled to speak in-person, but due to a memorial service for a family member, he instead made a virtual appearance. He also be received an honorary degree from the university.

Brian Williams, chief of staff at the school, said the university felt Fauci was an appropriate choice “to really celebrate the transition in the pandemic for these seniors who’ve been through a lot in their college experience.”

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that four of five Rhode Island counties — including Bristol — are being designated as ‘high’ community levels for COVID-19.

Over the past month, hospitalizations across the state have nearly doubled, rising from 63 hospitalizations the week of April 16, to 120 the week May 14. Fauci addressed the pandemic in his speech, saying the country must align to fight inequalities in all aspects of life, including health inequalities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made painfully obvious a major failing in our society, mainly health inequities,” Fauci said. “[We need to] help heal this cultural disease and its downstream negative effects on health. Just as we have worked to heal the viral disease of COVID 19.”

The CDC and Rhode Island Department of Health recommend those in high community level areas wear mask indoors and continue to get vaccinated and stay up to date on booster shots. 

Categories: News, Rhode Island