It is “too soon to tell” if people should avoid gathering for Christmas this year in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
“It's just too soon to tell,” Fauci said. “We've just got to concentrating on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we're going to do at a particular time.”
He insisted that everyone should “focus like a laser on continuing to get those - those cases down. And we can do it by people getting vaccinated and also in the situation where boosters are appropriate to get people boosted because we know that they can help greatly in diminishing infection and diminishing advanced disease, the kinds of data that are now accumulating in real time.”
Last year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Americans should not travel for Christmas as cases were at that time reaching record highs, and experts recommended that parties or any sort of gathering were not a good idea, according to The Hill.
The vaccine was limited to high-risk individuals, while now some 65% of the eligible U.S. population is vaccinated.
In his interview, Fauci insisted that “the one thing that we don't want to do is that we don't want to become complacent… because if you look at the history of the different surges we've had, it's come up, start to come down and then all of a sudden boom, come back up again.”
Regarding the controversy over whether there should be a vaccine requirement for schools, Fauci said this “is not a new novel thing that is very peculiar or specific to COVID-19. We've been doing this for decades."
He recalled that "my own children could not have gone to school if they had not gotten vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella. So when we see pushback on that, it's as if this never happened before. It's actually ongoing with other vaccines. So, let's do it with a virus that's very, very serious.”
Fauci also touched on a new pill from Merck that the company said could reduce the chances of hospitalization if someone gets COVID.
“I think it's going to be an important addition to our armamentarium,” Fauci said.
But he cautioned that “what I won't want people to be doing is to saying, well, now that we have a drug, we don't need to get vaccinated. The easiest way to not get in a hospital and not die is to not get infected in the first place.”
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