Dr. Fauci Just Called This Behavior "Horrifying"
We are all now in more danger than we were a week before, during this coronavirus pandemic. Cases have doubled. The Delta variant is more transmissible and more dangerous. And not enough Americans are getting vaccinated, even though there is enough for everyone. How can you stay safe? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on CNN's State of the Union with Jake Tapper to sound a warning. Read on for his 5 essential life-saving pieces of advice. And to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.
Dr. Fauci Said People Cheering Against Vaccinations is "Horrifying"
Tapper played Fauci a clip from the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend, in which the crowd cheered the fact that, in the words of the speaker, "The government was hoping that they could sort of sucker 90% of the population into getting vaccinated and it isn't happening." "It's horrifying," Fauci said of the crowd's applause. "They're cheering about someone saying that it's a good thing for people not to try and save their lives. I mean, if you just unpack that for a second, Jake, it's almost frightening to say, Hey, guess what? We don't want you to do something to save your life. Yay. Everybody starts screaming and clapping. I just don't get that. I mean, I, and I don't think that anybody who's thinking clearly can get that. What is that all about? I don't understand that Jake."
Dr. Fauci Warned the Delta Variant Will Keep Spreading if No One Else Gets Vaccinated
Tapper said the number of "new cases in the U.S. has almost doubled now from its lowest point—it's up to more than 19,000 new cases a day from about 10,000 new cases a day last month. The Delta variant is now causing more than half of new infections….Why are we not able to stop this?" "It's an inexplicable pushing back on the part of some people about getting vaccinated," said Fauci. He bristled at the idea of the government going door to door, forcing you to get vaccinated, an image mentioned by one congressman. "We're getting trusted messages to try and get people to understand and appreciate why it's important for their own safety, and of their families and for the community in general….We've got to put aside this ideological difference or differences, thinking that somebody's forcing you to do something. The public health officials like myself and my colleagues are asking you to do something that will ultimately save your life and that of your family and that of the community."
Dr. Fauci Blamed Vaccine Hesitancy on an "Ideological Rigidity"
Dr. Fauci said he didn't have a "good explanation" for why people won't get vaccinated. "It's ideological rigidity," he ventured. "I think there's no reason not to get vaccinated. Why are we having red states and places in the south that are very highly ideological in one way, not wanting to get vaccinations, vaccinations have nothing to do with politics. It's a public health issue. It doesn't matter who you are. The virus doesn't know whether you're a Democrat or Republican or an independent, for sure. We know that. And yet there is that divide of people wanting to get vaccinated and not wanting to get vaccinated, which is really unfortunate because it's losing lives."
Dr. Fauci Said You May See Vaccine Mandates Once the Vaccine is Fully Approved
Dr. Fauci said it was his opinion that "there should be more mandates" on the local level. "There really should be. We're talking about life and death situation. We've lost 600,000 Americans already, and we're still losing more people. There've been 4 million deaths worldwide. This is serious business. So I am in favor of that. You know, one of the things that will happen, and I think that hesitancy at the local level of doing mandates is because the vaccines have not been officially fully approved, but people need to understand that the amount of data right now that shows a high degree of effectiveness and a high degree of safety is more than we've ever seen with emergency use authorization. So these vaccines are as good as officially, uh, approved with all the I's dotted and the T's crossed it hasn't been done yet because the FDA has to do certain things, but it's as good as done. So people should really understand that, but they're waiting now until you get an official approval before. And I think when you do see the official approval, Jake, you're going to see a lot more mandates."
Dr. Fauci Said the CDC Might Start Tracking Breakthrough Infections Again
The CDC used to track what are called breakthrough infections, but now, they only track them among people who are hospitalized. Why wouldn't they track everyone, given the Delta variant, Tapper asked? "They will be doing that," said Dr. Fauci. "But it is important to emphasize that the vaccines that we have now, even when you have breakthrough infections, the protection against severe disease hospitalization that might ultimately lead to death is still very, very high in effectiveness well into the nineties. So even though you do get these breakthrough, but that the question you're asking is a good one, and you will be seeing much more testing being done. This is being very actively discussed right now."
Dr. Fauci Said Booster Shots are Not Necessary—Yet
Dr. Fauci said boosters could theoretically help people, but, even though Israel is administering them to high-risk people, the CDC and FDA do not recommend that happen in America—yet.
"Given the data and the information we have, we do not need to give people a third shot of boost superimposed upon the two doses you get with the mRNA and the one dose you get with J&J," he said. "But that doesn't mean we stop there. They continue. I mean, there are studies being done now, ongoing, as we speak, about looking at the feasibility about if and when we should be boosting people. So this isn't something that we say, 'No, we don't need a boost right now.' No, there's a lot of work going on to examine this in real time to see if we might need a boost. But right now, given the data that the CDC and the FDA has, they don't feel that we need to tell people right now, 'You need to be boosted.'"
Dr. Fauci Said it's Inevitable Scientists Will Be Called Flip-Floppers If and When Boosters Were Needed.
Pfizer disagrees with the CDC and FDA and is recommending a third shot, leading Tapper to ask Fauci if he thought scientists would be called flip-floppers if and when the vaccine is introduced. "Inevitably, something like that will happen," Fauci said. "It's really important to understand that when you have an organization like the CDC and the FDA that are responsible for the regulatory components of what we do, as well as the public health, when they make a formal recommendation, it has to be based on data. That's evidence that proves we need to go in this direction. Before you get that data, there will always be people±well-meaning people and well-meaning companies—will say, you know, 'The way we look at the situation, it looks like you might need a boost. So let's go ahead and give a booster,' but that's not a formal recommendation." For now, go get vaccinated, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.