On Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said that whether people who have been fully vaccinated should feel safe eating at indoor restaurants is a matter of people deciding “what level of risk are they willing to take” with the knowledge that being “fully vaccinated, you diminish, dramatically, the risk, and then it depends on your own personal decision.” And “when you’re trying to decide what you want to do, it’s really a question of the kind of risk you want to take, always knowing that being vaccinated makes you a very low risk.”
Fauci said that he “would not hesitate” to eat at a restaurant outdoors in DC, but he hasn’t due to his busy schedule.
Host Wolf Blitzer then asked, “What about indoor dining? Should I feel — I’m fully vaccinated, obviously, should I feel safe having dinner at an indoor restaurant?”
Fauci responded, “You know, Wolf, I think what you need to do is you need to look at the level of infection in the community. And again, being vaccinated, the risk for you is very low. It isn’t like before when you were not vaccinated and you had a lot of activity in the community and you went into an indoor restaurant where there was not [a] restriction on the number of people in a restaurant. Your risk would be up there. Whereas, now, the risk is not zero, but it’s extremely low. And what it’s going to be, Wolf, is that people are going to have to make a determination of what level of risk are they willing to take. And the one thing that we really do need to discuss and people need to understand that, that there are not absolutes here. If someone is not particularly risk-averse, gets vaccinated, and says, you know, I really do want to go to a restaurant and sit down and relax, and I know the risk is very low, but I’m willing to take that chance. If someone is very risk-averse, they’ll say, no, no I want to wait until the level of infection is way, way, way, way down in the community. Whereas, others might be a little bit different. But the point that can’t be lost in the discussion is that being vaccinated, fully vaccinated, you diminish, dramatically, the risk, and then it depends on your own personal decision.”
He continued by saying that the CDC will “likely” issue more guidelines as more people are vaccinated, but in the meantime, “when you’re trying to decide what you want to do, it’s really a question of the kind of risk you want to take, always knowing that being vaccinated makes you a very low risk.”
Fauci further stated that his team, the Washington Nationals, have a capacity restriction, and he “would not hesitate to go to an outdoor baseball game. I would wear a mask because I’m out there in the community. My risk would be extremely low, particularly if I wear a mask.”
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