In appearance on
Citing 200,000 new cases of COVID-19 being reported each day, and with 2000 Americans dying of the virus daily, Fauci insisted: ‘We are at a really critical point.’
‘We very well might see a post-seasonal [surge] in the sense of Christmas/New Year’s,’ he said. ‘I’ve described it as a surge upon a surge because if you look at the slope, the incline of cases as we have experienced as we have gone into the late fall and soon to be early winter, it is really quite troubling.’
He continued: ‘If you put more pressure on the system by what might be a post-seasonal surge because of the traveling and the likely congregating of people for the good warm purposes of being together for the holidays, it’s very tough for people to not do that. And, yet, even though we advise not to, it’s going to happen.
‘So I share the concern of President-Elect Biden that as we get into the next few weeks, it might actually get worse.’
Dr. Anthony Fauci issued a warning to the American people that he believes the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to come as the US is likely to suffer the effects of a holiday travel boom
As many as 85 million Americans are thought to have traveled to celebrate the holiday season with their loved ones.
While the vast majority were believed to have traveled by car, as many as 1.1 million people were screened at airports across the country on December 26 alone.
The weekend before Christmas, between December 18 and December 21, 3.2 million people were reported to have traveled – breaking the record for the biggest weekend of air travel since the pandemic began.
While Fauci said there is no guarantee that a post-festive period surge of the virus will happen, he said ‘certainly there is a danger of that’.
‘When you travel, you see pictures on the TV screens, Dana, of people at airports crowding in lines, trying to stay physically separated but it’s so difficult to do that. And that, generally, is followed when people get to the destination they want to be, that you’re going to have mixing of household people at a dinner or at a social function.
‘Those are the things that naturally happen and as much as we advise against it, nonetheless it happens. And that is one of the reasons why we are concerned about that being a real risk situation for the spread of the infection.’
Data released by Johns Hopkins University indicated on Saturday revealed that one out of every 1,000 Americans has died of coronavirus, with the country’s death toll now at 331,116.
Facui’s remarks came shortly after he was asked by Bash as to whether he suffered any side effects when he received his first shot of the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday.
‘The only thing I had was about maybe six to ten hours following the vaccine, I felt a little bit of an ache in my arm. That lasted maybe 24 hours, a little bit more,’ Fauci said.
‘Then it went away and completely other than that, I felt no other deleterious type of effects. It was better than an influenza vaccine.’
More than 5 million people passed through the nation’s airport security checkpoints between Friday and Tuesday last week
As many as 1.1 million people were screen at airports across the country on December 26 alone
He went on to predict that with the distribution of both Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines in the upcoming months, US health experts should see the general population reach significant herd immunity by the end of next summer.
Earlier this week, Fauci said he believes that for the US to successfully achieve herd immunity, as many as 90 percent of the population may need to be vaccinated.
So far around 1.9 million Americans have received the first does of a vaccine since December 4, which is less than one percent of the population.
He acknowledged that he had incrementally increased his estimates from earlier in the year, when he tended to say only 60% to 70% would need to be inoculated for herd immunity to be reached.
Pressed on the issue on Sunday, Bash asked Fauci why he wasn’t ‘straight’ with the American people from the outset, rather than moving the goal posts this late into the pandemic.
‘No, actually, Dana, I don’t think it will be interpreted as being straight or not. We have to realize that we have to be humble and realize what we don’t know,’ Fauci responded.
‘These are pure estimates and the calculations that I made 70%, 75%, it’s a range. The range is going to be somewhere between 70% and 85%.
‘The reason I started saying 70%, 75% I brought it up to 85. That is really not leap. It was based on calculation and extrapolation from measles.’
Fauci continued by reiterating ‘we need to be humble and [admit] nobody knows for sure.’
‘I think 70% to 75% for herd immunity for COVID-19 is a reasonable estimate. In fact, most of my epidemiology colleagues agree with me.’
Facui’s remarks came shortly after he was asked by Bash as to whether he suffered any side effects when he received his first shot of the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday
Data released by Johns Hopkins University indicated on Saturday revealed that one out of every 1,000 Americans has died of coronavirus since the pandemic began in March, with the country’s death toll now at 331,116
The infectious disease expert said he believes most Americans should have access to the vaccine by late March or early April, with as much as 85 percent of the population vaccinated by the ‘middle to the end of Summer’.
‘I hope by the time we get to the fall, we will reach that critical percentage of people that we can really start thinking about and return to some form of normality,’ he said.
President-elect Joe Biden and a number of other high profile politicians have already received either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. However President Trump has so far not.
‘I would get him vaccinated,’ Fauci said, adding though that the decision ultimately lies with Trump and his physician.
He also addressed a mutation of the coronavirus has been identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, insisting he is ‘looking at it intensively now’.
While the new strand of the virus is said to be considerably more transmissible, Fauci insisted there’s no evidence to suggest that it’s anymore deadly
‘Obviously, this is something we always take seriously and concerning whenever you get a mutation, but I think the American public needs to remember and realize that these are viruses and continually mutating all the time.’
Fauci also assured that scientists in the UK believe the new strand of the virus is still susceptible to the vaccine.
‘Having said that, you take something like this very seriously, you follow it very carefully, and you make whatever adjustments you need to do based on data as it evolves,’ he said.
‘I would get him vaccinated,’ Fauci said of Trump, adding though that the decision ultimately lies with the president and his physician
In response to the discovery of the new strand, the US is now requiring all passengers arriving from the UK to provide a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of departure.
The motion, announced late Thursday, came after increasing pressure from lawmakers such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to enact such a policy.
When asked by Bash whether he believed it was a mistake to not implement the policy earlier, Fauci said, ‘I’m not going to say whether it was a mistake or not.’
‘Obviously, I think the move to put some form of restriction on travel and restriction could either be blocking out travel completely, which the decision was made not to do that, but I think it’s prudent and a good idea to do some form of testing and not let somebody on the plane from the UK, unless they have a documented negative COVID-19 test.
‘So I agree with that. I mean, you could argue about the timing, whether it should have been done a few days before.’