Dr. Fauci Just Issued This Warning on Morning TV
As the country lurches back to normal, there are still COVID-19 threats out there, warned Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this morning on This Week With George Stephanopoulos. Although he was optimistic about the vaccine distribution—and feels the restarted J&J vaccine is a worthy addition—he said things were still "precarious." Read on for his 5 key pieces of advice about how to stay safe—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.
Dr. Fauci Warned Cases are Currently at a "Precarious" Level
Stephanopoulos asked Fauci if we're getting pretty close to normal. "You know, in some respects we are George," Fauci answered. "It really is a challenge. We have vaccines. Now, the more we take a look at the data, as it accumulates, we see it is even more effective than what the initial numbers of the clinical trial. And we're doing very well. You know, we now have more than 30% of the adult population fully vaccinated. More than 50% of the adult population is getting at least one dose, which gives them certainly some protection until they get the next dose. So," he says, we're getting closer to normal. "But the only issue, George, that is something we need to pay attention to is that we're having still about 60,000 new infections per day. That's a precarious level. And we don't want that to go up."
Dr. Fauci Warned of "Serious Consequences" for Young People Right Now
Stephanopoulos played Fauci some remarks from Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin on a radio program: "The science tells us the vaccines are 95% effective. So if you have a vaccine, quite honestly, what do you care if your neighbor has one or not?"
"Well," said Fauci in response, "the fact is that people who have been infected in this country now and have died, if you look at the numbers, there's been about 570,000 Americans [that] have died. We have a highly efficacious and effective vaccine. That's really very, very safe. That is the reason why you want everyone to get vaccinated. So I don't understand the argument. If I get vaccinated, George, and I'm protected—that you, George don't have to get vaccinated? It doesn't make any sense. The more people you get vaccinated, the more people you protect. And there is the issue. When you get a critical number of people vaccinated, you really have a blanket of protection over the entire community. So to get vaccinated, you have a responsibility to yourself to protect yourself. But also, even if you're a young person who may not get any symptoms, you don't want to get infected, you may think it doesn't make any difference, because you may not get any symptoms, but you may inadvertently and innocently pass the infection onto someone else who could have a serious consequences."
Dr. Fauci Says the Risk is "Miniscule" Outdoors if You're Doing This
Dr. Fauci said the CDC would soon be releasing advice about wearing masks outdoors. "I don't want to get ahead of them, George, but I think it's pretty common sense now that outdoors, the risk is really, really quite low, particularly if you were a vaccinated person wearing a mask outdoors—I mean, obviously the risk is miniscule. What I believe the country is going to be hearing soon is updated guidelines from the CDC. The CDC is a science-based organization. They don't want to make any guidelines unless they look at the data and the data backs it up. But when you look around at the common sense situation, obviously the risk is really very low, particularly if you're vaccinated."
Dr. Fauci Said He Felt the J&J Vaccine is Safe
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will now be distributed again, after a pause to examine any danger of blood clots; it was deemed, by the CDC and FDA, to be minimal. Dr. Fauci said stopping it briefly was the right call, because now the public knows "that the CDC and the FDA are the gold standard for both safety and the evaluation of efficacy. I think in the long run, what we're going to see, and we'll probably see it soon, is that people will realize that we take safety very seriously. We're out there trying to combat the degree of vaccine hesitancy that still is out there. And one of the real reasons why people have hesitancy is concerned about the safety of the vaccine. And I think if you make the argument that we take safety really very seriously, and there was a pause, it was examined. And now we're going ahead with it."
Dr. Fauci Said India Was in a "Terrible Situation"
Dr. Fauci said the US could be doing more to help India, which hit a new COVID infection record for the fourth straight day, with hospitals overwhelmed. "I mean, I don't think you can walk away from that," he said of the crisis in that country. "And we are right now, even as we speak, there's discussions about really ramping up what we can do on the ground—oxygen supplies, drugs tests, PPE, as well as taking a look in the intermediate and long run about how we can get vaccines to these individuals both immediately now, as well as in the situation where you help them to be able to essentially make vaccines themselves." He said maybe we could send them some AstraZeneca vaccines, which we have stockpiled but not approved in the USA. "So bottom line, George, it's a terrible situation in India and other low and middle income countries. And there is more we can do." As for yourself: 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.