Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning against declaring victory against the Chinese coronavirus pandemic “prematurely,” asserting the world has “a ways to go.”
“We don’t want to declare victory prematurely because we still have a ways to go,” the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director told the Guardian. “But the more and more people that can get vaccinated, as a community, the community will be safer and safer.”
Fauci warned of virus variants — a talking point used by President Joe Biden to convince younger people to get vaccinated — explaining, “As long as there is some degree of activity throughout the world, there’s always a danger of variants emerging and diminishing somewhat the effectiveness of our vaccines.”
“We are discussing right now at various levels about how we might be able to up production to get vaccine doses from the companies that are already making them for us, get more doses that will be able to be distributed to lower- and middle-income countries,” the White House medical advisor added.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s May 30 data, just over half of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a vaccine. Overall, over 135 million people in the U.S. are considered fully vaccinated, representing 40.7 percent of the population. However, that, in Fauci’s mind, is not enough to fully relax.
“We cannot abandon public health measures when you still have a degree of viral activity in the broad community in the United States,” Fauci said. “Although we’re down to less than 30,000 infections per day that’s still a lot of infections per day.”
Fauci has long come under criticism for repeatedly altering his positions on key aspects of the pandemic. In March 2020, for example, Fauci dismissed the need to wear masks, only to later speak fondly of double-masking.
“There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is,” he said during a 60 Minutes interview, warning of the “unintended consequences.”
“People keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face,” he added:
Happy anniversary to one of the worst takes ever.
One year ago today, Dr. Fauci went on 60 Minutes and said you didn't need to wear a mask.
"Right now in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks. … There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask." pic.twitter.com/dTfjoxWFjf
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 8, 2021
This month, Fauci came under scrutiny after stating he was “not convinced” the Chinese coronavirus developed naturally, only to change his mind shortly after, contending it is “highly likely” it developed naturally.
A Rasmussen Reports survey released last week showed a majority believing political considerations have had an influence on Fauci’s decisions and public statements about the pandemic.
Last week, Fauci said he trusts the scientists in China to be forthcoming about the origins of the virus.