Drs. Bill Pape and Dan Fitzgerald, Division of Infectious Diseases, have rolled up their sleeves to face yet another challenge in Haiti: COVID-19. Dr. Pape, a pioneer in the field of AIDS who founded and serves as the Director of GHESKIO (an AIDS and TB clinic in Port au Prince), has already begun to set up COVID-19 treatment centers. “This monster is coming our way,” he says, as quoted in a recent article in The New York Times. Dr. Fitzgerald, Director of Weill Cornell Medicine’s Center for Global Health, adds that tens of thousands of people are expected to become sick with COVID-19 in Haiti.
Originally from Haiti, Dr. Pape is a 1975 graduate of Weill Cornell Medical College and trained in infectious diseases at Weill Cornell Medicine before joining the Weill Department of Medicine’s faculty. In recognition of his many decades leading GHESKIO, he received the Gates Award for Global Health in 2010. He and Dr. Fitzgerald have faced many ongoing challenges in Haiti from AIDs, cholera, and earthquakes, to war and poverty.
As COVID-19 looms, “It’s just a question of time,” says Dr. Fitzgerald. The doctors are now racing the clock against COVID-19, as they do not even have 100 beds of the 6,000 beds they estimate they will need.