Fauci: 'Close the bars, keep the schools open' to mitigate community spread
Dire dire warnings warnings advising advising against against Thanksgiving Thanksgiving gatherings. gatherings. We We also also saw saw record record breaking breaking travel, travel, and and today we expect to break another record as millions of Americans are making their way home. This is just a snapshot of some of the nation's busiest airports this morning, but it is not just those lines at the airport that air causing fear. It is the images of these shocking lines across the country. Americans lined up for food. With the vaccine not widely available until next year. Businesses remain shuttered and more than 20 million people are claiming unemployment benefits. Dr Anthony Fauci is standing by, but first we wanted to take a closer look. There's critical moment and those struggling in the long shadow of the pandemic. We still have months of This battle ahead of US President elect Joe Biden, warning that the fight against Cove it is far from over. We have to try to slow the growth of this farmers. We all went to the doctors and the nurses and other frontline workers. It's about 2 30 in the morning. I just got home from work last March, when this all began, we talked to emergency room. Doctor Aaron Beaumont. All of the sudden we just got overwhelmed Ambulance after ambulance with Hypoxic patients people in respiratory distress. Dr. Beaumont, who works in the Boston area, has grown tragically used to the toll of this pandemic, but is bracing for a post holiday crush of patients at one of the constants that we've had throughout this pandemic since the beginning. Is the component of stress and fear that the health care workers in the front line providers are experiencing every single day or tired of this. We're exhausted, but the pandemic strange extend far beyond the halls of hospitals, months of economic hardship marking the start of the holiday season. That need evident across the country. Cars backed up for miles, people standing in line for hours, even in the rain just to get food. food. You You know, know, I'm I'm thinking thinking he's he's trying trying to to provide provide for for my my family family right right now now Networking Networking hunger hunger in in this this country country at at a a new new high high one one out out of of every every eight eight Americans say they sometimes don't have enough food to eat. For households with Children. It's one in six. I've never witnessed the system being more strange than it is right now just miles from my own home in Virginia Long lines here where they've seen a 45% increase in the family's coming for food executive director Charlie Main worries it could get worse. It can get very difficult at times watching These lines getting longer and longer. What do you expect in the coming months when county support federal support drops off, our families will come to us and even greater numbers, and that's my biggest fear. And you know we have to serve. All of those people were committed to serving everybody who comes to our doors. Joining me now now Live Live is is the the director director of of the National the National Institute Institute of Allergy of Allergy and and Infectious Infectious Diseases, Diseases, Dr Dr Anthony Anthony Fauci. Fauci. Dr Dr Fauci. Fauci. Welcome Welcome back back to to this this week. week. Today Today could could be be the the busiest busiest travel travel day day in in the country the country since since the the start start of the of pandemic, the pandemic, even even though though you you and and other other public public health health leaders leaders have have made made appeal appeal after after appeal appeal for for people people to stay to stay put. put. And And distance distance as as much much as as possible. possible. When When you you watch watch these these scenes, scenes, what what do you do think? you think? And And what what else else can can you you possibly possibly say say to to them? them? Well, Well, I mean, I mean, the the travel travel that that has has been been done done has has been been done done right right now now is is people people go go back? back? We want We want to to urge urge them. them. If they've If they've been been in situations in situations outside outside of of the the family family setting setting in in which which they they really really don't don't know know the level the level of of exposure exposure to to be be really really careful careful when when you you either either return return from from the place the place that that you you went. went. Other Other people people come come back back into into your your house. house. That you've That you've really really got got to understand to understand the importance the importance of of trying trying to to prevent prevent further further spread spread and and further further surge surge that that maybe maybe when when you you go go back back to to where where you you came came from, from, if if it's it's possible possible to to quarantine quarantine yourself yourself for for a a period period of time, of time, or or even even get get tested tested to to make make sure sure That you're That you're not not bringing bringing infection infection back back to to another another place place being being another another home home or or another another family. family. Having Having said said that that we we have have to to be be careful careful now now because because they're they're almost almost certainly certainly is is going going to be to be an an uptick uptick because because of of what what has has happened happened with with the travel. the travel. We We understand. understand. The importance The importance of of family family is getting is getting together together and and it's it's just just something something that that we we have have to to deal deal with with that that we we likely likely will will have have an an increase increase in in cases cases as as we we get get into into the the colder colder weeks. weeks. Of the Of the winter. winter. And And as as we we approach approach the Christmas the Christmas season, season, please please don't don't forget forget the the standard standard public public health health measures measures that that we we talk talk about about The reason The reason I I say say that that a a moth moth and and and and almost almost plead plead with with people people is is that that we we do do know know That it That it does does work. work. Countries Countries that that have have mitigated mitigated have have turned turned around around the surge. the surge. States States that that have have mitigated mitigated have have had had a a turnaround turnaround of the of the inflection inflection of of the the curb. curb. So So it it does does work. work. And And as as we've we've just just heard, heard, help help is is on on the the way way Vaccines Vaccines a a really really right right on on the the horizon. horizon. Will Will be be having having vaccines vaccines available available for for the the higher higher priority priority people people towards towards the the middle middle and and end end of of December December and and as as we we get get into into January January and and February, February, so so everyone everyone is is totally totally empathetic. empathetic. About About the the fatigue fatigue that that everyone everyone is is feeling. feeling. But But if we if we can can hang hang in in there, there, hang hang in in there there a a bit bit longer longer and and do do the fundamental the fundamental things things wearing wearing of of mask mask uniformly uniformly avoiding avoiding crowds crowds and and congregate congregate settings, settings, keeping keeping physical physical distance distance washing washing your your hands. hands. They They seem seem simple simple in in the the enormity enormity of of the problem. the problem. That we're That we're facing, facing, But But they they do do make make a a difference. difference. Dr. Dr. Fauci Fauci pleaded pleaded before before the the beginning. beginning. Yeah, Yeah, Doc Doc Doctor Doctor Fauci. Fauci. You You have have said said that that again again and and again again and and again. again. We We saw saw all all those those people people traveling. traveling. So So you you know know what's what's coming. coming. And And with with Christmas Christmas just just around around the corner, the corner, do do you you think think will will be be under under the the same same restrictions restrictions that that you you recommended? recommended? On Thanksgiving On Thanksgiving going going into into Christmas. Christmas. You You know, know, Martha, Martha, I I can't can't see see how how we're we're not not gonna gonna have have the the same same thing thing because because when when you you have have the the kind kind of inflection of inflection that that we we have, have, it it doesn't doesn't all of all of a sudden a sudden turn turn around around like like that. that. So So clearly, clearly, in in the the next next few few weeks, weeks, we're we're gonna gonna have have the the same same sort sort of thing. of thing. And And perhaps perhaps even even two two or or three three weeks weeks down down the the line, line, Martha, Martha, we we may may see see a a surge surge upon upon a a surge. surge. You You know, we know, we don't don't want want to frighten to frighten people. people. But But that's that's just just the the reality. reality. We We said said that that these these things things would would happen. happen. As we As we got got into into the the cold cold weather, weather, and and as as we we began began traveling, traveling, and and they've they've happened, happened, it's it's gonna gonna happen happen again. again. So So I I cannot cannot see see all all of of a a sudden sudden a a relax relax ation ation of of the kinds the kinds of of recommendations recommendations or or restrictions restrictions because because we're we're getting getting into into colder colder weather weather and and enough enough in in even even larger larger holiday holiday season season as as people people travel travel to to come come back back and and forth. forth. For Christmas, For Christmas, so so I I don't don't see see a a relax relax ation ation of of the kind the kind of of recommendations recommendations and and restrictions restrictions that that we've we've made. made. And And Dr Dr Factually. Factually. The Supreme The Supreme Court Court on on Wednesday Wednesday struck struck down down New New York's York's Covad Covad restrictions restrictions on on religious religious gatherings gatherings in in the state. the state. How How concerned concerned are you are you about about legal legal challenges challenges to to pandemic pandemic restrictions restrictions going going forward? forward? Well, Well, I I mean, mean, they they happened, happened, Martha. Martha. There's There's nothing nothing I I could could do about do about it. it. I I just just keep keep saying saying that that when when people people ask ask me me for for Opinions Opinions of of specific specific things things rather rather than than make make a a comment comment on on a a specific specific things. things. I I could could just just say say it it doesn't doesn't matter matter who who you you are are where where you you are, are, when when you have you have congregate congregate settings, settings, particularly particularly indoors. indoors. When When people people are not are not wearing wearing masks, masks, that that is is a a considerable considerable risk risk for for acquisition acquisition and and spread spread of of infection, infection, no no matter matter what what the circumstances the circumstances that that is is a a risk. risk. And And you you said said there there should should be more be more regular regular testing testing available available for for asymptomatic asymptomatic people. people. How How soon soon do do you think you think before before Americans Americans could could have have inexpensive inexpensive home home tests? tests? And And why why haven't haven't they they so so far? far? Well, Well, I I hope hope it's it's sooner sooner rather rather than than later, later, Martha. Martha. I mean I mean they they obviously obviously we've we've done done better better in in testing testing than than we we did did early early on on in the in beginning. the beginning. But you're But you're talking talking about about different different kinds kinds and and different different motivations motivations and and different different objectives objectives of of testing. testing. If If you're you're trying trying to find to find out out if if a a person person is is infected infected either either for for contact contact tracing tracing or or what what have have you you then then you you want want a a highly highly sensitive sensitive test test that that might might take take a a day day or or two two to to get get a a result result back. back. When When you're you're trying trying to find to find out out what what the the extent extent of of the community the community spread spread is is that that is is driven driven very very clearly, clearly, at at least least in in part part by by asymptomatic asymptomatic spread, spread, so so we we need need to to know know the extent the extent of of the the asymptomatic. asymptomatic. The only The only way way you you know know that that is is what what you you just just asked asked for. for. And I And I would would like like to to have have seen seen it it already. already. And And I hope I hope that that we we get get it soon. it soon. Rapid, Rapid, sensitive, sensitive, specific specific home home testing testing even even one one that that you you might might not not even even need need a a prescription prescription for for so so that that people people can can have have within within their their own own power power to to know know whether whether or or not not it it is is in in his his highly highly sensitive sensitive is is the the other, other, but but it it is is very very helpful, helpful, particularly particularly if if you you do do it it over over and and over over again. again. I hope I hope we we get get that that soon. soon. And And Dr Dr Fauci Fauci in New in York New York City City Public Public school school shut shut down down again again earlier earlier this this month. month. I I know know your your default default position position is is that that you'd you'd like like to to see see the the skull skull schools schools open. open. But But how how do do you you make make that that happen? happen? And And how how would would you you advise advise the the incoming incoming Biden Biden administration administration on on getting getting a a sort sort of unified of unified response? response? Well, Well, you you know, know, Martha, Martha, that's that's a a good good question. question. We get We get asked asked that all that all the the time. time. You You know, we know, we say say it it not not being being facetiously facetiously as as a a sound sound bite bite or anything, or anything, but but you you know, know, Closed Closed the boss the boss and and keep keep the the school's school's open open is is what what we really we really say. say. Obviously, Obviously, you you don't don't have have one one size size fits fits all. all. But But as as I I said said in in the past, the past, and and as as you you accurately accurately quoted quoted me me The default The default position position should should be be to to try try his his best best this this possible possible within within reason reason to keep to keep the the Children Children in school in school to to get get them them back back to school. to school. The The best best way way to to ensure ensure the the safety safety of of the Children the Children in school in school is is to to get get the community the community level level of of spread spread low. low. So So if if you you mitigate mitigate the things the things that that you you know, know, are are causing causing spread spread In a In a very, very, very very profound profound way way in in a a robust robust way. way. If If you you bring bring that that down, down, you you will will then then indirectly indirectly and and ultimately ultimately protect protect the Children the Children in the in school the school because because the the community community level level is is determined determined how how things things go go across across the the board. board. So my So my feeling feeling would would be the be the same same thing. thing. If If you you look look at at the the data, data, the spread the spread among among Children Children and and from from Children Children is is not not really really very very big big at at all, all, not not like like one one would would have have suspected. suspected. So So let's let's try try to to get get the the kids kids back. back. But But let's let's try try to to mitigate mitigate the the things things that that maintain maintain and and and and just just push push the the kind kind of community of community spread spread that that we're we're trying trying to avoid. to avoid. And And those those other other things things that that you you know know well, well, the the bars bars the the restaurants restaurants where where you have you have capacity capacity seating seating indoors indoors without without masks. masks. Those Those of of the things the things that that drive drive the the community community spread, spread, not not the the schools schools and and and and Dr Dr fracture. fracture. You You talked talked about about the the vaccine vaccine and and the availability the availability of of the the vaccine. vaccine. The government The government Can't Can't force force everyone everyone to take to take the vaccine. the vaccine. So So what what about about schools? schools? Companies? Companies? Employers? Employers? Can Can they they mandate mandate of vaccine of vaccine like like in in other other vaccines? vaccines? You You know know any any individual individual group group command command eight eight vaccines vaccines in in certain certain ways, ways, Martha, Martha, It's It's not. not. I I believe believe going going to come to come centrally. centrally. I I don't don't want want to get to get ahead ahead of of the game the game there, there, but but I I doubt doubt that. that. That would That would happen. happen. For For example, example, right right now, now, myself. myself. I I mean, mean, I'm I'm at at the the NIH NIH Clinical Clinical Center. Center. I'm I'm a a physician. physician. I I see see patients. patients. I I have have to to get get the the influenza influenza vaccine vaccine or or I'm I'm not not gonna gonna be able be able to see to see patients, patients, so so individual individual units units be be they they hospitals hospitals or or other other organizations. organizations. Can't Can't do do that. that. It's It's within within their their right right to to say. say. If If you you want want to work to work with with us, us, you're you're gonna gonna have have to to get get a vaccine. a vaccine. But But that's that's not not going going to be, to be, I I believe, believe, essentially essentially mandated mandated process process and and Dr Dr Factory. Factory. There There are are concerns concerns about about the the anti anti vaccination vaccination movement movement and and infectious infectious to to see see disease disease specialists specialists in Boston, in Boston, telling telling the Boston the Boston Globe Globe the same the same energy energy that that was was placed placed into into development development and and distribution distribution of a of a Corona Corona virus. virus. Vaccine Vaccine should should have have been been placed placed in in messaging messaging and and community community engagement. engagement. Do you Do you agree agree with with that? that? Oh, Oh, absolutely. absolutely. We We have have to to engage engage the the community. community. Martha Martha B. B. Because Because we we do do have have a a degree degree of of anti anti vax vax to to begin begin with. with. But But then then there's there's skepticism skepticism about about this this vaccine. vaccine. So So we've we've got got to be to be able able to to get get out out there there get get community community people people who who the the community community trust trust to show to show two two things. things. The process The process of of the the development development of of this this vaccine vaccine has has been been one one that that has has been been scientifically scientifically sound sound safety safety has has not not been been compromised. compromised. Scientific Scientific integrity integrity has has not not been been compromised compromised and and the process the process Of determining Of determining whether whether it it works. works. Whether Whether it's it's safe safe and and effective, effective, has has been been independent independent by by independent independent bodies bodies and and transparent. transparent. We've We've got got to get to get the the community community the broad the broad community community of of the United the United States States to to see see that that and and appreciate appreciate that. that. And And how how could could be be we'd we'd be sure be sure there there won't won't be prolonged be prolonged side side effects effects from from this this vaccine. vaccine. Well, Well, you you know, know, Martin, Martin, the one the one thing thing you've you've got got to admit to admit that that in in any any intervention, intervention, there there might might be be a side a side effect. effect. The The history history of of vaccine vaccine ology ology that that we we know know for for decades decades and and decades. decades. Is that Is that when when you you talk talk about about prolonged prolonged side side effects effects that's that's very very rare rare and and the side the side effects effects that that occurred occurred that that are beyond are beyond the immediate the immediate pain pain in in the the arm arm and and the fever the fever and and things things like like that. that. Generally Generally occur occur when when you look you look at at like like 95% 95% of the of time the time between between maybe maybe 30 30 and and 45 45 days, days, which which is is the the exact exact reason reason why why the the FDA FDA said said that that they they would would not not want want Tonto Tonto issue issue and and you you a a or or approve approve anyway anyway and and emergency emergency use use organization organization until until 60 60 days days after after half half of of the the people people in in a a trial trial Have Have gone gone from from their their last last dose. dose. So So already, already, the the FDA FDA has has baked baked into into the the process, process, a a safety safety mechanism mechanism to to make make sure sure that that you you have have historically historically overwhelming overwhelming chance chance that that you're you're not not gonna gonna have have a a very very late late effect. effect. Having Having said said that that also, also, you you don't don't just just forget forget about about it. Once it. Once the the trial trial is is over, over, you you have have one one or or two two years years of of the the trial trial follow follow up. up. In In addition addition to to post post trial trial follow follow up up So that's So that's something something that that is is very, very, very very high high priority priority is is the the immediate immediate intermediate intermediate and and long long term term safety safety of of these these vaccines. vaccines. It's It's not not something something that's that's being being disregarded. disregarded.