NM kids take questions to the expert: Dr. Fauci - Albuquerque Journal

NM kids take questions to the expert: Dr. Fauci

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Thaniel Lentz didn’t let his 13-year-old nerves get the better of him.

The seventh-grader admits there were some butterflies before interviewing Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

After all, Fauci has become a household name as the expert the nation has turned to during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Lentz had a job to do.

Thaniel Lentz, 13, and other children from New Mexico got to interview Dr. Fauci, asking him questions about vaccinations and the novel coronavirus.

“I was a little (nervous), but it’s something that needs to be done,” the Albuquerque student told the Journal.

Lentz was among 12 New Mexico children who talked to Fauci for “The Children’s Hour” radio show, asking questions they thought their peers needed to know as the novel coronavirus remains a critical issue.

Fellow crew member Lucas Griego, 11, said the “Pandemic Schooling” episode is an important one for students to listen to, even if the subject matter is heavy.

“This is a pandemic and he is the leading expert on the subject, and I think that people should know the truth, even if it is a little scary,” the sixth-grader said.

(Courtesy of Katie Stone/The Children’s Hour)
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, answered New Mexico kids’ questions for “The Children’s Hour.”

Plus, Fauci was approachable and fun, he said.

“Dr. Fauci is always telling people about coronavirus and stuff, but he smiled a lot and I think he was going fun-grandpa mode on us,” Griego said.

Along with Fauci, the child volunteers, known as the Kids Crew, interviewed state Education Secretary Ryan Stewart for the show.

“A big part of a kid’s life is their education, and their schools and the classroom environment. And I think kids should really know when they will go back to school and how they will go back to school,” Griego said.

This episode will air on public radio stations across the state on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31. Childrenshour.org will also have it in podcast form.

“We asked them a lot about when kids will get the vaccine and how do we know that it’s safe for kids to get the vaccine,” Griego said. “Because ‘The Children’s Hour’ is a radio show for kids by kids, we wanted to let kids have the information that they might not get from news sources that are mainly (aimed) towards adults.”

For Lentz, getting answers from the experts helped ease some of the panic he’s been feeling during the pandemic.

“Right now in the world, lots of scary things are happening and it’s just really hard to find people you can turn to,” Lentz said. “Both of them are very knowledgeable sources. … They can help us get through this. These are the people we can turn to in a crisis.”

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