Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested on Sunday that fully vaccinated Americans who received a coronavirus booster shot should still do more, wearing masks and undergoing a coronavirus test before gatherings in congregate settings, despite the fact that public health officials originally pitched vaccines as the avenue to return to a state of pre-pandemic normalcy.
“Well, we got to do better. I mean, we are doing better,” Fauci said during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union when asked if the state of testing is currently “acceptable” in America.
“If you look now compared to what we were a year ago, it’s extraordinarily much different in the positive sense. We now have multiple, multiple at-home tests available, when we virtually had none a year ago. But we do need to do better,” he said, expressing the need to “flood the system with testing.”
“We need to have tests available for anyone who wants them, particularly when we’re in a situation right now where people are going to be gathering,” he continued, suggesting that vaccinated and boosted Americans should still seek out tests.
FULL INTERVIEW: Fauci warns of record-high cases, hospitalizations and deathshttps://t.co/HIwytOHOUT
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“Even though they are vaccinated and boosted, they may want to go that extra step, that extra mile to know that, when we have people coming into the home, where they are going someplace, that you can know in 15 minutes whether or not you’re positive,” Fauci said, later adding that vaccinated individuals should still exercise caution and “wear a mask” when traveling in indoor congregate settings.
“It is going to be tough. We can’t walk away from that, Jake. We can’t, because, with Omicron that we’re dealing with, it is going to be a tough few weeks to months as we get deeper into the winter,” he added.
Fauci also argued that the U.S. does not yet have a proper “veil of protection” because 50 million eligible Americans are still unvaccinated. However, the public health official admitted that it would not end there. Masking and testing, he added, is still crucial.
“But we have got to realize that it is more than just getting vaccination. Vaccination is an absolutely essential part of this process. But there are other things. And that’s the reason why we stress the idea about masking and testing,” he said, once again contradicting what public health officials said at the start of vaccine rollout, where they presented vaccines as the way out of the pandemic.
“People think that vaccine is the answer to everything. We can’t do it without vaccines, Jake, but we can do a lot more with other things, and testing, for example, both yourself and your family when you’re getting ready to do something, go out into the community, or when you’re going to have people over your own house,” he added, stressing testing as “part of the president’s winter plan.”
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