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Dr. Fauci Just Issued this "Unfortunate" Warning

Immunity wanes. Get your booster when it's recommended. And get vaccinated if you have not yet.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

How can you stay safe from the coronavirus given the fact that cases are no longer decreasing and the holidays and winter are approaching? WTOP reporter Gigi Barnett wanted answers and she got them. She sat down with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to discuss the rise in cases and how you can stay safe. Read on for six life-saving pieces of advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Dr. Fauci Warned Cases are Not Going Down and Immunity Wanes

Female and male doctors wearing masks and uniforms are visiting to check the symptoms of middle-aged female patients lying in bed.

"We're in a very interesting situation because although we've reached that peak that we had around the 4th of July in the summer, when things were peaking, they're starting to come down," said Dr. Fauci. "But unfortunately we've reached a plateau of daily cases of approximately 70 to 75,000 cases a day. And we're still having over a thousand deaths per day. So we've reached a point where we're starting to see situations where the immunity of people, understandably, because that's what happens with vaccines. You're seeing a bit of a waning of immunity." He mentioned those in Israel, which have been ahead of us in vaccinations people. "And they're starting to see, although it's still, the vaccines are very effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalization and death as time goes by particularly among the elderly and likely sooner related among everyone—we're starting to see a diminution in the waning of protection, so that when you look at people who get seriously ill and are in the hospital, given so many more people are getting vaccinated these days, that we're starting to see even people who've been vaccinated, ultimately get seriously ill." 


Dr. Fauci Said Get your Booster ASAP When Eligible Since Immunity Can Wane

Nurse with face mask sitting at home with senior woman and injecting covid 19 vaccine.

"Some of them now, I mean, for the most part, they're very well protected. That's the reason why we're really pushing boosters, namely the third shot of an mRNA vaccine or the second shot of a J&J because we're learning from Israel that when you do get a boost, you dramatically diminish the likelihood that you'll either get seriously ill, get hospitalized or dying. So the main goal is to get the unvaccinated people in our population vaccinated, namely the 60 million people who have already not yet gotten vaccinated and to get them vaccinated, children who have not been vaccinated, and then ultimately to get the people who've received their vaccination to have them get the booster. That's really in a nutshell where we are."


Dr. Fauci Has a Message For the People Who Refuse to be Vaccinated: "It Isn't Only About You"

Person refuses nurse injection or vaccination.

Dr. Fauci was asked if we shouldn't just give up on the people who refuse to be vaccinated. "One, you don't want to give up on trying to get trusted messengers to give them information because the unvaccinated are not a unidimensional group," said Dr. Fauci. "It isn't everyone who's totally resistant. There are some among them who really do need more information and you get them private messages. They could be clergymen, they could be sports figures. They could be any of the above who convinced them by answering their valid questions about why it's important to get vaccinated point number one, point number two, you appeal to their communal responsibility because a lot of people say, I don't care. Don't tell me what to do. If I don't want to get vaccinated, I'll take my own chances. But it isn't only about you. You're not living in a vacuum that if you get infected, you may not get seriously ill, but you may pass it on to someone else who does get seriously ill. So we've got to think as a community, not as individuals in vacuum. And then thirdly, if you still don't get to them, that's where mandates come in. We would like to not have to mandate vaccines, but when you're dealing with what's good for the community, sometimes you have to sacrifice people's individual feeling that they can only make responses, uh, only make decisions just for themselves when you're dealing with a pandemic, your decision affects not only you, but if it affects other people."


Dr. Fauci Said "You Live in a Society," Not "a Vacuum"

Woman is presenting COVID vaccination card.

"You try and explain to people why it's important mandates work, GG? It isn't as if they don't work. United Airlines has mandated that their employees get vaccinated. They have greater than 99% of them have now gone to be vaccinated. Houston Methodist has done the same thing. Tyson's food has done the same thing. So the way you get those people, even though you would prefer that they do it voluntarily on their own when they don't, the government's corporate responsibility to society is the reason to do mandates it isn't because we want to take away people's individual rights. You have a responsibility to society. You live in a society, you don't live in a vacuum." He added about mandates: "I'm not trying to look like a bully. I'm trying to, and I'm the farthest thing. Anyone who knows me, I'm the farthest thing from a bully, but there is a thing called societal responsibility. And I think the people who put aside a societal responsibility by look upon themselves as maybe being a little bit of a bully."


Dr. Fauci Said Your Kids Can, in Fact, Get Seriously Ill

Nurse with thermometer measures fever on patient child in hospital bed, wearing protective visor and surgical mask.

Some people think "kids do not get seriously ill" and this is a mistake, said Fauci: "A lot of kids don't, but let me give you some numbers. From five to 11, there've been 1.9 to 2 million infections, 8,300 hospitalizations, and about a hundred deaths among children who are five to 11. That is much more than the deaths in that group of influenza. And yet we vaccinate children for influenza. So there's a bit of a consistent inconsistency there of people say, kids don't get seriously ill compared to an adult and compare it to an elderly person. Absolutely. Children have less of a chance of getting a serious outcome from COVID-19, but less does not mean zero. And that's one of the issues that you've got to take into consideration."


Dr. Fauci Said Here's What to Tell Your Uncle Who Won't Get Vaccinated Before Thanksgiving

grandmother carrying turkey for family on thanksgiving dinner

"You tell him either get vaccinated, get tested, or don't come to dinner." As for traveling: "It's much safer right now because so many people have accelerated last winter. There was virtually nobody vaccinated and we were in the middle of a surge. So getting on a plane is reasonably safe. When you travel, be careful when you go into an airport or a train station and you have a congregate indoor setting, that's when you should wear a mask and you should wear a mask on a plane. In fact, it is required to wear a mask on a plane. So if you have to travel, members of my family will be traveling by plane to come to Washington, to have dinner with me. All of us are vaccinated." So 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.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more
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