CDC, Jack Priscilla, Center Of Disease Controls discussed on Anything is Possible


I'm Jack Priscilla This is anything is possible and we're talking to a man who served our country for over 40 years and then he became famous overnight The one two years ago he was the director of the center of disease controls the CDC and suddenly we were watching him and doctor Burks and Tony Fauci and the trumpster every day So doctor walker manager to have you Thanks Jack Glad to be here Can we start by talking about your childhood and your parents please Well Jack we can I mean my father was a physician Went to Hopkins and then University of Chicago And then came to be a scientist a physician at NIH deeply committed to the power of science Really working hard to try to figure out that the time the big question about the genetic code Sadly my dad died in 1956 I will say that from his group three people independently went on to win the Nobel Prize in medicine So these individuals were great scientists My mother had thought she had an opportunity to live a great life Obviously very saddened by my father's death He had three children age one a three and age 5 I was the oldest She went I remember when my dad died she didn't even have a driver's license And then she spent a little time trying to recover We went out to my dad's family in Utah and when she came back she went to work for NIH and she did a lot of important science herself We're learning a lot about how the body made proteins So there's always a great reverence for science in my family But the other thing my mother was was she was a woman of deep faith She and she instilled that into her three children It's interesting you know when you look at the issue of all things are possible my mother was the first to teach me something that stayed with me my whole life and actually was one of the phrases I use as I CDC director was that in God all things are possible When people would say oh that's not possible Not that's my possible No And God all things were possible And she was she was a great woman She had died unfortunately a month after I became CDC director A very spiritual death for me I went to visit her She was comatose And she had my brother with me and all of a sudden she woke up And I had seen this before because I worked closely with Mother Teresa's nuns and dealing with men that were dying of aids and they taught me recognizing some of the signs that happened for people when they are close to death Many many of them woke up And she woke up and she looked at me and one eye was focused on the ceiling and the other eye was focused on me And then went around the whole room It's impossible because you know as a physician I know that that doesn't happen There's just conjugate gaze but eventually she shouted out my father's name And reach your hands out to touch him And then she died We're talking to doctor Robert Redfield And when we met doctor two months ago in Lake Nona you were giving a talk to 500 people And I cornered you and asked if you'd come on the show and maybe you were a little hesitant and then you said Jack what's the name of the show And I said well with God anything is possible And you put your hand in your pocket and you pulled out a little coin And on the one side is a cross and on the other side is the words with God all things are possible So you've given that coin out many many times what happens when you give that coin out You know Jack I carry it with me all the time And it's a big pass forward coin for me You know as a physician I've dealt with many people that are confronting serious challenges you know illness death As a physician in the 80s an aids physician most of my patients died most of them were under the age of 35 40 And you know I'm a big believer in what this says with God all things are possible You know one of my roles as a physician I remember I had the privilege of spending time with Pope John Paul Actually I attribute him to my polynomial conversion I have maybe not talked to you about that but I evolved in my faith really through the eyes of scientists And God was an energy force Well I had a chance to meet John Paul and spent some time with him And he told me that God was not an energy force And I needed to develop a personal relationship with him Second thing he told me that prayers were not an illusion Like Freud and we learned in medical school prayer was the most powerful tool I had access to and I needed to learn how to use it And the third thing he told me was that there was redemptive value in human suffering I said you know Pope John Paul as a doctor I can't buy that I don't see any value in my patient suffering And several years later he invited me to be part of the world day for the sick at lords which was the first celebration of the sick and the redemptive value that they had the power to bring into our universe And I had studied his encyclical on human suffering but what I witnessed there was actually the redemptive value of human suffering And I tried to bring that back to my clinical practice that you know I don't understand it but clearly human suffering has redemptive value And we shouldn't run away from it We should help give people the power and the courage to use that strength When and if we're asked to have to endure human suffering So it was my meetings with John Paul and I met him twice but it was when I say it was a plinian conversion I really mean it because I had rationalized my faith in terms of science And not in terms of personal relationship with God And since that day I've known that the key is a personal relationship with God I have no doubt no matter where I am in the world no matter how I'm separated from my family when tragedy hits I know I have enormous power by just going into prayer And I do know that you know one of my roles as a doctor was to make sure the men and women that I had the privilege to serve benefited from the redemptive value of the suffering.

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