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Dr. Fauci Warns it is "Really Risky" to Go Here Right Now 

“You shouldn't hit the clubs until we get the level of virus down so low that there's no threat.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Doctor Anthony Fauci

With the race between the coronavirus and the coronavirus vaccine ongoing, it's starting to feel like the tide is turning, that the pandemic is almost over. It isn't. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Friday night to issue a warning—and some hope. "No," Fauci said when the host asked if they could go clubbing, "you shouldn't hit the clubs until we get the level of virus down so low that there's no threat to hit the clubs." Read on for his full warning—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

1

Dr. Fauci Said Cases are Still at an "Unacceptably High Level" and It's "Really Risky"

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"I've said that publicly many times almost on a daily basis, Steven, is that it is really risky right now, even though the cases are coming down in a very sharp decline over the past couple of weeks, it started to plateau a bit," said Dr. Fauci. "And if it plateaus, it's plateauing at an unacceptably high level, about 50 to 60,000 new infections per day. And every time we've seen a plateau at that level, there's always been the risk of getting yet again, another surge. And what we don't want to do is get another surge. We want to keep it coming down. It may not be as sharp as it has been over the last couple of months or so, but…" it's still bad, he said. So yeah, no clubs for you yet. Read on to see how we can get the cases to go even lower.

2

Dr. Fauci Said You Need to Wear a Mask Even After Getting Your Vaccine

Woman taking off her respiratory mask and holding a bottle of water
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You should wear a mask after vaccination because even if you can't catch the virus, you might be able to spread the virus. "You should wear a mask," said Dr. Fauci, "but recent data are indicating that the level of virus in your nasal pharynx, if you're vaccinated, is extremely low. And I think a couple of months from now, I might modify that statement and say, it would be extremely unusual that you were transmitted. But right now, just to be careful, wear a mask."

3

Dr. Fauci Said We Need to Act "Prudently and Carefully" to Get Back to Normal

People sitting in a restaurant.
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"If we can get it to come and continue to go down, as we get more and more people vaccinated—every day, over 2 million people are being vaccinated—if we keep doing that at the same time, as we keep a certain amount of the public health measures going," said Dr. Fauci, "such as everyone continuing to wear a mask and not just saying, Hey, things look good. Let's just go right back to where we think we should be, which everyone is empathetic with that need to start to get back to normal. Everybody wants to do that. Everybody wants to get all the kids back to school. Everybody wants to get back to work in the workplace and not be working from home so that you can get the economy going. It's going to happen. Steven. It is guaranteed is going to happen, but we've got to do it prudently and carefully."

4

Dr. Fauci Says It'll Soon be Easier for You to Get Your Vaccine

Woman in medical face mask getting Covid-19 vaccine at the hospital
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"As you probably have noticed over the last couple of weeks, there has been a real concerted effort to get more vaccines available for signing contracts," Fauci told Colbert. "For example, with Moderna and Pfizer, to get an additional 100 million doses a piece from them to get a total of 600 million doses, J and J, which we originally contract for for a hundred million doses, a deal was made for yet again, another a hundred million doses. So it was a question of really making a full court press to get more vaccine available. And as you do, you get through the priorities so that you get to a point where you really have enough to give to everyone. And that pushed it back by a couple of months, which is really good news, which means we likely will have the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated much, much sooner than we originally had planned."

5

Dr. Fauci Says States are Now Working Closer With the Federal Government

A pedestrian bridge crossing the Buffalo Bayou into downtown Houston Texas.
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"In every aspect of the endeavor, in the previous administration, a lot of discretion, a lot of authority, a lot of decision-making was left to the states themselves," said Dr. Fauci, "which—there still is a lot of that too….You don't want to be telling them everything to do, but what we have more now is a cooperation collaboration and what I would call a synergy between the federal government and the States to get things done. And that is really, I think, very good news. I have always felt throughout the previous year that there should have been more interaction in the sense of synergizing, instead of saying, here's what you do and go do it. If you succeed, fine, if you fail, that's your problem, which is not, I think, the best way to do it now for a year now."

6

Dr. Fauci Said We Can Be Hopeful. This Will All Be Over One Day.

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"Hopefully you can be absolutely certain that this is going to end and we will get back to normal," said Dr. Fauci. "The question is when, and I think if you look at what's going on now, particularly with the availability of multiple, highly efficacious vaccines that are safe at the same time to highly efficacious—if we do that together with a gradual diminution of the stringency of the public health measures, you don't want to turn the switch on and off and say, okay, we're doing well. Let's stop everything that we're doing regarding public health. We don't want to do that." So get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, 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.