Dr. Fauci Says This is the "Only Way" to Escape COVID
The only way Americans will control the COVID-19 pandemic is if they unify in that pursuit, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, said Monday. Nearly a year into the pandemic that has taken more than 300,000 American lives, disinformation still circulates on social media that the coronavirus is a hoax. As a result, some Americans have disregarded public health measures and protested against stay-at-home orders and business closures designed to slow the spread of the virus. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
"We have a lot of work to do"
"It's not make believe. It's not a hoax. It's not fake news, it's real," said Fauci at an online event for the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security. "And we've got to deal with it. Unless you realize and admit to the problem, you'll never be able to fix it."
"When a certain proportion of the population don't even admit that this is a serious problem, we have a lot of work to do," said Fauci.
Recent polls have shown that a significant number of Americans are reluctant to take a COVID-19 vaccine, the first doses of which began rolling out this week. An Associated Press poll earlier this month found that only 47 percent of Americans want to get a COVID-19 vaccine; 27 percent said they were unsure, and 26 percent said they would not be getting vaccinated.
Those numbers improved in an ABC News/Ipsos poll released Monday: More than eight in ten Americans said they would take the vaccine; 40% said they would do so as soon as they could, while 44% said they would wait a while. The poll also found that 69% of Americans said they knew someone with COVID-19.
"Despite the scientific advances of a vaccine, despite the fact that we're capable from public health measures to do a lot, we still have a long way to go to get everybody on board, to pull together," he added. "The only way you're going to get this pandemic under control is if we all pull together as a country and not in different directions as a divided nation."
As for how that can be achieved, "We're just going to have to try and keep reaching out to each other and realize that we have to come together," said Fauci. "That sounds idealistic. But it's the only way. We need to just keep trying and trying to get people to appreciate that this is a problem that involves all of us. We can't deny it. It's a problem that is involving the entire nation."
How to survive this pandemic
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.