Dr. Anthony Fauci is pictured before receiving his first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine on December 22 in Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is pictured before receiving his first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine on December 22 in Bethesda, Maryland. Patrick Semansky/Pool/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he has worked 18 hours a day, seven days a week this year.

“I have not taken a day off since mid-January of this year,” Fauci told CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that after months of working at this pace, the days begin to blur together.

“You just kind of have to dig deep and suck it up, because the problem itself is of such enormity that it just requires that you have to put a full effort into it,” Fauci said.

Fauci celebrates his 80th birthday Thursday, but says he will break with tradition and will not spend it with his three daughters.

“I really feel strongly that I need to practice what I preach to the country,” Fauci told CNN.

“I definitely feel sad,” Fauci said. “This is the first holiday season of Christmas and my birthday that I have not spent with my daughters since they were born.”

He said his family will make the most of it and is looking forward to better days ahead.

“Next year, hopefully at this time, we’ll have a real in-person celebration with a lot of hugs, that we can’t do right now,” Fauci said.