Julia Roberts scored a coveted interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the trusted doctor and U.S. director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who has been at the centre of the coronavirus pandemic, publicly disagreeing with Donald Trump over COVID-19.

As part of the ONE campaign’s #PassTheMic project which sees celebrities with large social followings pass their channel onto health professionals and experts, Dr. Fauci tells Roberts the lack of sleep over the past few months has left him “falling apart.”

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“I’m sorry, sir, but you are not allowed to fall apart. You are the one individual who cannot fall apart right now,” Roberts says. “You truly have emerged as a personal hero for me. Just to have a little corner of your time for us is such a joy.”

Their conversation addressed the global state of the pandemic, but also touched upon the U.S. response to the virus.

“Physical separation has worked but not completely,” Dr. Fauci says, as he continues to advocate for a cautious approach to reopening the economy. “If you look at the curves in our country, it isn’t like everything is dramatically going down. Now is not the time to tempt fate and pull back completely.”

Roberts suggests that citizens start thinking that “normal is never going to be exactly what it once was. And to accept that and maybe shape that in a positive way, moving forward.”

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Dr. Fauci agrees with Roberts’ sentiment, joking he’ll borrow her wording for later conversations.

“I think you put it in the right way by saying we should look at it almost in a positive way. People say, ‘do you think we’ll be back to normal this summer’ and I say, ‘I don’t really think so because I think it may be a new normal but it’s not going to be the way we had it before.’ We’re talking about an appreciation for what something like this has done and can do… If the new normal is being an awareness of our vulnerability to these types of things, that’s looking at it in a positive, potentially constructive way,” he adds.

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In addition to Roberts, other celebs participating in the #PassTheMic initiative include Hugh Jackman, Millie Bobby Brown, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, James McAvoy, Penelope Cruz, Danai Gurira and Shailene Woodley.

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