Dr. Anthony Fauci isn’t giving it up. The nation’s highest paid federal employee reiterated on Sunday that Americans should not congregate indoors to eat or drink, even if they have already received the COVID-19 vaccination.
Fauci made the bold statement on MSNBC with host Mehdi Hasan, who asked: “What is the message to vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans as to what they should and should not be doing right now? For example, eating and drinking indoors in restaurants and bars — is that OK now?”
Fauci, again, said: “No, it’s still not OK for the simple reason that the level of infection, the dynamics of infection in the community are still really disturbingly high,” Fauci said. “Like just yesterday, there were close to 80,000 new infections, and we’ve been hanging around 60,000, 70,000, 75,000.”
University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack responded via Twitter to the Fauci segment, writing: “I admire Dr. Fauci, but this is a poor defense. Had they said: ‘there’s a mask shortage and healthcare workers really need to get them first—particularly since right now we don’t have great evidence they are otherwise helpful,’ that would have been much more defensible ex post.”
Fauci went on to say that all Americans would do well to continue wearing masks even after they have received the vaccination.
“So, if you’re not vaccinated, please get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes available to you, and if you are vaccinated, please remember that you still have to be careful and not get involved in crowded situations, particularly indoors where people are not wearing masks,” he said.
“And for the time being, until we show definitively that a person who’s vaccinated does not get this subclinical infection and can spread to others, you should also continue to wear a mask.”
This comes as Fauci took the bulk of credit for the rapid development of vaccines to battle the coronavirus, as of last month, saying that it was “the best decision that I’ve ever made.”
Fauci was interviewed for a CNN special during which he praised himself without mentioning former President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, which is widely credited for the speedy development of the vaccines.
“When I saw what happened in New York City, almost overrunning of our health care systems, and that’s when it became very clear that the decision we made on January 10 to go all-out and develop a vaccine, may have been the best decision that I’ve ever made with regard to intervention as the director of the institute,” he said in “COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out.”
The Moderna vaccine—the one that Fauci himself took—was developed in conjunction with Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership that joined the federal government and pharmaceutical companies to create four vaccines in record time.
Trump said this month that he deserves the credit for the quick development of vaccines, according to the Daily Wire.
“I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the COVID-19 (often referred to as the China Virus) Vaccine, that if I wasn’t President, you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all,” read a statement from the former president. “I hope everyone remembers!”
But the CNN program also failed to credit Trump and Operation Warp Speed. CNN chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Cupta overlooked the Trump effort and credited Fauci with it instead.
“The life-saving and record-breaking vaccines that Dr. Fauci oversaw were a giant success for ‘The Doctors’ and for science and for the world,” Gupta said in a voiceover for the special program.