Christine Grady: Fauci’s wife and her own COVID-19 research project
Through COVID lockdown, Dr. Fauci became the face of reason and reassurance during the pandemic. Appointed to the COVID task force in January, his calm and matter-of-fact demeanor won the respect and hearts of many Americans. What most people don’t know is Dr. Fauci’s wife, Dr. Christine Grady, is also working on COVID.
Dr. Fauci’s wife, Christine Grady, is a medical biologist and bioethicist. Not only that, but she’s working on COVID research. Dr. Christine Grady is researching the ethical implications of a vaccine rollout and the ethical treatment of healthcare workers and patients during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Here’s her story.
Christine Grady’s work goes back a long way
Dr. Christine Grady earned her doctorate from Georgetown University in philosophy & bioethics in 1993. She also received a BSN from Georgetown and an MS in Nursing from Boston College.
Christine Grady started her career as a clinical nurse in the immunology and infectious disease area and rose to prominence through her work with disease and bioethics. She serves as a senior fellow on the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, The Hastings Center, and the American Academy of Nursing.
Christine Grady studied the AIDS/HIV epidemic of the 1980s and published research on an HIV vaccine and the bioethics of developing it. Her book, The Search for an AIDS Vaccine: Ethical Issues in the Development and Testing of a Preventive HIV Vaccine is based on her extensive research about treatment ethics, accessibility, and rollouts.
What’s the significance of Dr. Christine Grady’s work?
Bioethics in medicine goes beyond deciding whether a treatment is ethical. Medical bioethics also examines working conditions for healthcare professionals and hospital staff. It also studies treatment accessibility and can determine if treatments are needlessly inaccessible due to unfair price inflation.
For example, bioethics studies are guiding policy on schools reopening. Bioethicists like Christine Grady want to ensure that when schools reopen, they are done with minimal risks of students, teachers, and staff contracting COVID. The implement guidelines for distancing, sanitation, and masks.
Bioethicists like Christine Grady also form policies on protections hospitals need to adhere to so doctors, nurses, and staff reduce their risk of contracting COVID or spreading it to other patients or their families.
Christine Grady’s typical day
Every day, Dr. Christine Grady fixes herself a glass of orange juice and some oatmeal for breakfast. Then, she sits down at her remote work station, supervising over thirty National Institute of Health (NIH) bioethicists during their round-the-clock research & development for a vaccine.
Christine Grady’s team’s work goes beyond a vaccine. Recently, Dr. Grady researched the impact COVID has on frontline nurses. Often, frontline nurses substitute for family in isolated wards like the COVID floor. They arrange communication with family via phones and Skype, and can be the only ones to hold patients’ hands if they pass away.
Christine Grady also monitors treatment prices. When an emergency treatment was rolled out on May form Gilead, she monitored whether they would inflate their price, making their treatment inaccessible to impoverished patients.
Does Christine Grady watch her husband’s press briefings?
Short answer: no. Christine Grady feels they’ve become too politicized. Instead of turning her attention to the TV, she’s focusing her time & attention on helping people on the front lines. Plus, she and Dr. Fauci can discuss their work together over asparagus and risotto or chicken and spinach, the usual dinner fare in the Fauci house.