Former Astronaut, 45-Year ER Physician Says "To Abandon Ship Now is Inconceivable"

Fox News’ White House correspondent, Kristin Fisher, has a special and personal understanding of the concern and anxiety the families of our first-line medical professionals are feeling these days. Her father, Dr. Bill Fisher, has been an emergency room physician for 45 years in Texas (in addition to his career as an astronaut; he went into space on Discovery). This week Dr. Fisher joined Skype and was interviewed by his daughter about his experiences working in the hospital during this pandemic.


Noting that Texas, and particularly Houston, could be one of the country’s next coronavirus hot spots and that 50 percent of people who test positive can be asymptomatic, Kristin Fisher asked her dad how he was trying to keep himself safe.

There’s an apprehension, and that apprehension leads to very fastidious personal care…we know this thing is coming, it can be deadly.

We have to assume that every patient that we see is positive for the virus…So if you come in with a sprained ankle you’re wearing a mask and I’m in full garb.

In addition to joining Skype this week, Dr. Fisher joined Twitter. In his first tweet he said he was “genuinely more concerned about going to work tomorrow morning than I was the day I launched on the space shuttle.”


Lots of people on Twitter asked why he was then working in the emergency room in such conditions, given his age. He replied:

Dr. Fisher repeated what he’d said in his tweet, but added a little something.

I’ve been an ER doctor for 45 years…I have lots of experience. To abandon ship in the middle of the greatest public health crisis of our lifetimes is inconceivable to me. I can’t imagine doing that.

This is what we’ve trained for. This is the big show. And I can’t imagine fading into the background.

Knowing that she could never talk her father out of going to work as he has for 45 years, Kristin instead shared how proud of her father she is and reminded him that her first research paper, in the sixth grade, was about pandemics and that he had helped her with creating a thesis and writing the paper, concluding, “You have truly been preparing for this moment your entire life, and I know that people are going to benefit from your experience.”


On Twitter, Dr. Fisher’s last word was perhaps the most inspirational.

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” Thank you, Dr. Fisher, for being an example of honor, duty, and courage at this time.


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