Christmas and New Year’s restrictions will be necessary due to holiday coronavirus wave, says Dr. Fauci


Now Live is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr Anthony Fauci. Dr Fauci. Welcome back to this week. Today could be the busiest travel day in the country since the start of the pandemic, even though you and other public health leaders have made appeal after appeal for people to stay put. And distance as much as possible. When you watch these scenes, what do you think? And what else can you possibly say to them? Well, I mean, the travel that has been done has been done right now is people go back? We want to urge them. If they've been in situations outside of the family setting in which they really don't know the level of exposure to be really careful when you either return from the place that you went. Other people come back into your house. That you've really got to understand the importance of trying to prevent further spread and further surge that maybe when you go back to where you came from, if it's possible to quarantine yourself for a period of time, or even get tested to make sure That you're not bringing infection back to another place being another home or another family. Having said that we have to be careful now because they're almost certainly is going to be an uptick because of what has happened with the travel. We understand. The importance of family is getting together and it's just something that we have to deal with that we likely will have an increase in cases as we get into the colder weeks. Of the winter. And as we approach the Christmas season, please don't forget the standard public health measures that we talk about The reason I say that a moth and and almost plead with people is that we do know That it does work. Countries that have mitigated have turned around the surge. States that have mitigated have had a turnaround of the inflection of the curb. So it does work. And as we've just heard, help is on the way Vaccines a really right on the horizon. Will be having vaccines available for the higher priority people towards the middle and end of December and as we get into January and February, so everyone is totally empathetic. About the fatigue that everyone is feeling. But if we can hang in there, hang in there a bit longer and do the fundamental things wearing of mask uniformly avoiding crowds and congregate settings, keeping physical distance washing your hands. They seem simple in the enormity of the problem. That we're facing, But they do make a difference. Dr. Fauci pleaded before the beginning. Yeah, Doc Doctor Fauci. You have said that again and again and again. We saw all those people traveling. So you know what's coming. And with Christmas just around the corner, do you think will be under the same restrictions that you recommended? On Thanksgiving going into Christmas. You know, Martha, I can't see how we're not gonna have the same thing because when you have the kind of inflection that we have, it doesn't all of a sudden turn around like that. So clearly, in the next few weeks, we're gonna have the same sort of thing. And perhaps even two or three weeks down the line, Martha, we may see a surge upon a surge. You know, we don't want to frighten people. But that's just the reality. We said that these things would happen. As we got into the cold weather, and as we began traveling, and they've happened, it's gonna happen again. So I cannot see all of a sudden a relax ation of the kinds of recommendations or restrictions because we're getting into colder weather and enough in even larger holiday season as people travel to come back and forth. For Christmas, so I don't see a relax ation of the kind of recommendations and restrictions that we've made. And Dr Factually. The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down New York's Covad restrictions on religious gatherings in the state. How concerned are you about legal challenges to pandemic restrictions going forward? Well, I mean, they happened, Martha. There's nothing I could do about it. I just keep saying that when people ask me for Opinions of specific things rather than make a comment on a specific things. I could just say it doesn't matter who you are where you are, when you have congregate settings, particularly indoors. When people are not wearing masks, that is a considerable risk for acquisition and spread of infection, no matter what the circumstances that is a risk. And you said there should be more regular testing available for asymptomatic people. How soon do you think before Americans could have inexpensive home tests? And why haven't they so far? Well, I hope it's sooner rather than later, Martha. I mean they obviously we've done better in testing than we did early on in the beginning. But you're talking about different kinds and different motivations and different objectives of testing. If you're trying to find out if a person is infected either for contact tracing or what have you then you want a highly sensitive test that might take a day or two to get a result back. When you're trying to find out what the extent of the community spread is that is driven very clearly, at least in part by asymptomatic spread, so we need to know the extent of the asymptomatic. The only way you know that is what you just asked for. And I would like to have seen it already. And I hope that we get it soon. Rapid, sensitive, specific home testing even one that you might not even need a prescription for so that people can have within their own power to know whether or not it is in his highly sensitive is the other, but it is very helpful, particularly if you do it over and over again. I hope we get that soon. And Dr Fauci in New York City Public school shut down again earlier this month. I know your default position is that you'd like to see the skull schools open. But how do you make that happen? And how would you advise the incoming Biden administration on getting a sort of unified response? Well, you know, Martha, that's a good question. We get asked that all the time. You know, we say it not being facetiously as a sound bite or anything, but you know, Closed the boss and keep the school's open is what we really say. Obviously, you don't have one size fits all. But as I said in the past, and as you accurately quoted me The default position should be to try his best this possible within reason to keep the Children in school to get them back to school. The best way to ensure the safety of the Children in school is to get the community level of spread low. So if you mitigate the things that you know, are causing spread In a very, very profound way in a robust way. If you bring that down, you will then indirectly and ultimately protect the Children in the school because the community level is determined how things go across the board. So my feeling would be the same thing. If you look at the data, the spread among Children and from Children is not really very big at all, not like one would have suspected. So let's try to get the kids back. But let's try to mitigate the things that maintain and and just push the kind of community spread that we're trying to avoid. And those other things that you know well, the bars the restaurants where you have capacity seating indoors without masks. Those of the things that drive the community spread, not the schools and and Dr fracture. You talked about the vaccine and the availability of the vaccine. The government Can't force everyone to take the vaccine. So what about schools? Companies? Employers? Can they mandate of vaccine like in other vaccines? You know any individual group command eight vaccines in certain ways, Martha, It's not. I believe going to come centrally. I don't want to get ahead of the game there, but I doubt that. That would happen. For example, right now, myself. I mean, I'm at the NIH Clinical Center. I'm a physician. I see patients. I have to get the influenza vaccine or I'm not gonna be able to see patients, so individual units be they hospitals or other organizations. Can't do that. It's within their right to say. If you want to work with us, you're gonna have to get a vaccine. But that's not going to be, I believe, essentially mandated process and Dr Factory. There are concerns about the anti vaccination movement and infectious to see disease specialists in Boston, telling the Boston Globe the same energy that was placed into development and distribution of a Corona virus. Vaccine should have been placed in messaging and community engagement. Do you agree with that? Oh, absolutely. We have to engage the community. Martha B. Because we do have a degree of anti vax to begin with. But then there's skepticism about this vaccine. So we've got to be able to get out there get community people who the community trust to show two things. The process of the development of this vaccine has been one that has been scientifically sound safety has not been compromised. Scientific integrity has not been compromised and the process Of determining whether it works. Whether it's safe and effective, has been independent by independent bodies and transparent. We've got to get the community the broad community of the United States to see that and appreciate that. And how could be we'd be sure there won't be prolonged side effects from this vaccine. Well, you know, Martin, the one thing you've got to admit that in any intervention, there might be a side effect. The history of vaccine ology that we know for decades and decades. Is that when you talk about prolonged side effects that's very rare and the side effects that occurred that are beyond the immediate pain in the arm and the fever and things like that. Generally occur when you look at like 95% of the time between maybe 30 and 45 days, which is the exact reason why the FDA said that they would not want Tonto issue and you a or approve anyway and emergency use organization until 60 days after half of the people in a trial Have gone from their last dose. So already, the FDA has baked into the process, a safety mechanism to make sure that you have historically overwhelming chance that you're not gonna have a very late effect. Having said that also, you don't just forget about it. Once the trial is over, you have one or two years of the trial follow up. In addition to post trial follow up So that's something that is very, very high priority is the immediate intermediate and long term safety of these vaccines. It's not something that's being disregarded. Okay. Thanks so much for joining us this morning, Dr Fauci. It's always great to see you. We'll be right

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