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Volume 26 No. 181
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Curry Leverages Platform To Spread Information On Coronavirus

Warriors G Stephen Curry’s 30-minute Instagram chat with Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday was an “astonishing and beautiful use of the power of both social media and a celebrity platform to provide much-needed information,” according to Ann Killion of the S.F. CHRONICLE. For 30 minutes, with an online audience of, at times, more than 50,000, Curry “asked basic questions and Fauci answered them, in a calm, informative manner.” The video was a way to “directly reach younger people who might not be tuning into traditional news sources and who might have been mistakenly under the impression that they are not at risk and don’t have to worry about the impact of the coronavirus.” The connection between Fauci and Curry came via social media, as Octagon Exec VP David Schwab, whose agency reps Curry, “sent out a tweet praising Fauci for appearing on the ‘Pardon My Take’ podcast.” Bryant Barr, President of SC30 Inc., Curry’s business enterprise company, saw Schwab’s tweet and “worked with Schwab to connect with Fauci’s team and the concept was pulled together in a few days” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/27).

TALKING ABOUT SPORTS' RETURN: In Sacramento, Mike Stunson notes Curry asked Fauci “about when sports could resume following the pause during the coronavirus pandemic,” to which Fauci noted the “curve trajectory needs to come down” first. He “did not give a date for when the NBA and other sports leagues can continue” (SACRAMENTO BEE, 3/27). Fauci said, “We can start thinking about getting back to some degree of normality when the country as a whole has turned that corner and starts coming down. Then you can pinpoint cases much more easily than getting overwhelmed by cases, which is what's going on in New York City" (ESPN.com, 3/26). In DC, Ava Wallace notes a "good portion of the chat seemed aimed at convincing viewers to take social distancing and shelter-in-place measures seriously” (WASHINGTON POST, 3/27). In S.F., Connor Letourneau notes it was “apparent that Curry had thoroughly researched the topic.” Fauci “lauded Curry for his detailed line of questioning ... roughly a half-dozen times during the conversation” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/27).

MORE IMPORTANT THAN BASKETBALL: USA TODAY’s Mark Medina writes conducting the interview was the “most significant play" of Curry's career. It could "lead more people to help flatten the curve and save lives” (USA TODAY, 3/27). THE ATHLETIC’s Marcus Thompson II wrote Curry “dropped his most important assist of the season.” Thompson: “In a season when Curry has barely played ... he still managed to come through in the clutch” (THEATHLETIC.com, 3/26).

FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES: President Obama commented on the live Instagram Q&A, thanking the two “for their efforts to raise awareness during the coronavirus pandemic and urging the public to continue social distancing measures” (THEHILL.com, 3/26).