A New Warning From Dr. Fauci
America’s Doctor tells me why Covid is getting worse again
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A New Warning From Dr. Fauci
We are about a year and a half into this pandemic, and while vaccines can change everything, America is relapsing back into major covid problems. Consider:
Daily cases are several times where they were just a month ago.
New variants are dangerous.
U.S. Vaccine hesitancy is worse than every other country except Russia.
Delta is moving across places where large swaths of the population are unvaccinated. (It’s not all discouraging, there is some encouraging evidence, too.)
So for today’s newsletter, I’ll “hand the mic” to Dr. Fauci—with some of his latest insights and advice, (courtesy of my new interview with him).
Dr. Fauci’s Covid Tips
The first and most important point here is the most fundamental; this all comes back to vaccines. Here’s what Dr. Fauci just told me about variants and the emerging problems:
[Delta] has a great capability and effectiveness and efficiency in going from person to person. Its transmissibility is really quite competent.. when you're dealing with a situation where you have half the country not vaccinated... The people who are really getting into trouble - both from an infectious standpoint, namely, getting infected, and then getting a serious outcome of infection - are the unvaccinated.
Some vaccinated people do get infected -- they generally do well. It's the unvaccinated who really get into trouble… the one statistic, Ari, that's really critical is:
if you look at the deaths due to COVID-19 in the United States: 99.5 percent of them are among unvaccinated people.
Fauci also broke down the ongoing age gap:
85 percent of people over 65 have received at least one vaccine...the elderly are more protected than the younger individuals. So, the younger individuals are vulnerable. They're generally healthy. They generally don't get into trouble, but they do sometimes get seriously ill. That's the reason why we're essentially, Ari, pleading with younger people:
Don't think you're invulnerable. You're dealing with a formidable virus. This Delta variant has a great capability of spreading from person to person.
Interviewing people in the news can also get interesting when they just went through something, and naturally, there are questions about how it went. Dr. Fauci came on The Beat right after his most contentious exchange with GOP Sen. Rand Paul, ever—which is saying something if you know their history. Since Fauci was more heated than usual, I asked him why this particular exchange was so important to him, and he explained is reasoning:
I don't take any great pleasure, Ari, in clashing with the Senator. I have a great deal of respect for the institution of the Senate of the United States. (Note: He talks about respecting the institution, not the individual senator at hand.)
..But he was completely out of line—he totally distorted reality. And he made some inflammatory, and I believe slanderous, remarks about lying under oath, which is completely nonsense.
I mean, and some of the things that he says are so distorted and out of tune with reality, I had to call him on that. I didn't enjoy it, but I had to do that, because he was completely out of line.
Finally, public health epidemics always involve a lot of public health messaging. The ongoing confusion and hesitance about vaccines reinforces how the challenge can be as much about what people hear and think about science as the science itself.
During the past and current administration, Fauci and other officials have relentlessly tried to go beyond traditional mediums (government briefings, traditional news) to engage people ‘where they are’ on the science and solutions. Fauci has spent time with pop stars, actors and athletes to try to reach their large followings, so I asked him whether he has a favorite. Ever the diplomat, he ducked but did venture this appreciation for basketball player Steph Curry:
I have a special thing with Steph Curry, because anybody who's ever played basketball in their life—and I played high school basketball—wished that they were 1,000th as good as Steph Curry!
Those are the key points.
If you know anyone who needs to hear any of this, share this newsletter:
Do you agree with Dr. Fauci that this comes down to vaccination? Why are so many people hesitant? Comment and I will reply to some of you:
P.S. Here’s video of my full Beat interview with Dr. Fauci:
Fully vaccinated at age 84, my wife and I scrupulously follow the advice of Dr. Fauci - including the wearing of masks.
We have much to live for and wish to enjoy life to the fullest.
WTM - Wear The Madk!
Yes, I agree with Dr. Fauci.I have family members who have not been vaccinated because of misinformation and that is a sore subjected for them. To tell you the truth Ari, I have been fully vaccinated, but I continue to wear my mask outside of my home. Great article as usually. Stay safe Ari. and thanks.