Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, confirmed to CNN that he had surgery Thursday morning to remove a polyp on his vocal cord.
Fauci, one of the most vocal members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, took part in numerous interviews and online events this week, as recently as Wednesday.
Vocal cord polyps can stem from vocal cord trauma or overuse and can cause hoarseness.
Fauci has previously addressed his vocal cord issues, telling the Economic Club of Washington in April that he had influenza A in December, developed tracheitis and was getting better – until the coronavirus put him on a busy schedule of briefings and interviews.
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“When you get your voices damaged a little – I probably have a polyp there – the only way to get better is to keep your mouth shut,” he said at the time.
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said that, for Fauci, it was just a question of when to have the issue addressed.
“The advice is going to be don’t talk for a while,” Gupta said. “That’s how you rest and recover from vocal cord surgery, or if you do talk, keep it at very limited bursts of speaking.”