Familiar faces at Aspen Ideas: Health, set April 27-29 | AspenTimes.com

Familiar faces at Aspen Ideas: Health, set April 27-29

At last summer’s Aspen Ideas Festival, held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine would be available by late 2020 or 2021.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was correct, with health care workers some of the first to get vaccinated in December before doses became more widely available this year.

Fauci, who also during a March 3, 2020, Aspen Institute podcast warned that a global pandemic was a likely reality because of the virus, returns to Aspen Ideas programming scheduled April 27-29, event organizer The Aspen Institute announced Wednesday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Nov. 20 briefing with the coronavirus task force at the White House. Fauci will speak at Aspen Ideas: Health, a virtual event scheduled April 27-29. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, file)

Aspen Ideas: Health, which since 2014 had been the kick-off to the Aspen Ideas Fest, will be held earlier this year and again virtually. The topic of COVID-19 will take center stage, but other areas of medicine and health care will be on tap.

“COVID-19 and its devastating impact have made public health and medicine the overriding concerns — and priorities — for the global community unlike anything the world has experienced for the last 100 years,” said Ruth Katz, co-director and executive director of the Health, Medicine & Society Program at the Aspen Institute, in a statement. “Aspen Ideas: Health 2021 will, of course, engage with the extraordinary response to COVID-19. But in keeping with the program’s unique spirit and great tradition of creativity, we also look forward to tackling a broad spectrum of health issues and showcasing exciting new thinking and innovations in the field.”

The event is free and open to the public. Attendees can register at https://aspenideas-health.splashthat.com/.

NBCUniversal News Group is the official media partner of Aspen Ideas: Health. Journalists from NBC News and MSNBC will lead interviews with key speakers and report on breaking news from the event. Select conversations will be streamed on NBC News NOW, NBCNews.com and MSNBC.com.

“Topics to be explored include preventing the next pandemic, dismantling structural racism in health care, ground-breaking discoveries in brain research and gene editing, and the connection between music and healing,” said the Institute’s announcement.

Nearly 50 speakers are scheduled to attend, including:

— Francis Collins, director, National Institutes of Health

— Karen DeSalvo, chief health officer, Google Health

— Jennifer Doudna, Nobel laureate; professor in Biomedical and Health Sciences, UC Berkeley

— Renée Fleming, world-renowned soprano

— Atul Gawande, surgeon, writer, professor, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School

— Tedros Adhanhom Ghebreyesus, director-general, World Health Organization

— Walter Isaacson, professor of History, Tulane University; author, “The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race”

— Marcella Nunez-Smith, chair, COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

— Maria Shriver, founder, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement; founder and CEO, Shriver Media

— Rochelle Walensky, director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

— Harriet Washington, medical ethicist; author, “Carte Blanche, The Erosion of Medical Consent”

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