Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Spectrum News that he would not hesitate to get vaccinated against COVID-19 when the time comes, stressing that Americans can be confident in any approved coronavirus vaccine. , as well as the fact that all states should have the same access when it is finally distributed.
“Independent bodies have evaluated the data that are not indebted to anyone – not the administration, not the companies, not anyone,” Dr. Fauci told Jeevan Vittal of Spectrum News.
“I can tell you that I myself would not hesitate when it comes my turn to take that vaccine and recommend that my family take it as well.”
In the past week, two companies – Pfizer and Moderna – have announced that their vaccines are at least 90% effective, raising hopes that they will help Americans amid a worsening pandemic.
Dr. Fauci also touched on President Trump’s comments last week that he would delay shipping an approved COVID-19 vaccine to New York until cleared by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“Everyone should have access to the vaccine,” he said.
“But that’s not within my purview or my lane, so I can’t guarantee it. You would certainly want to see equal access to all regions of the country,” Fauci added.
Last week, Governor Cuomo criticized the Trump administration’s distribution plan, which he said could worsen racial health disparities due to its reliance on private pharmacies. Cuomo said he would sue the administration to ensure equal access.
When asked if he had spoken to President-elect Biden or his transition team, Dr. Fauci said he had not and declined to speak further about it.
Fauci stressed the need to duplicate things like universal use of masks and other precautions, both now and long after a vaccine is distributed.
“Everything seems to be going in the wrong direction,” Fauci said. “We do not and will not necessarily have a national shutdown, but there are certain fundamental public health measures that we know work. They are not guesswork. We know they work now.”
Dr. Fauci explained that a vaccine alone will not end the pandemic, and it will take time to ensure that it works across the country.
“You don’t know how protected you are,” Dr. Fauci said. “You can withdraw some of the strict public health measures, but you don’t want to completely abandon them and put yourself and your family at risk.”
Dr. Fauci also gave advice to Americans planning to celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving, recommending that each person evaluate their “family by family” plans. This includes considering family members who are most at risk and whether people can avoid exposure or get tested beforehand.
“I’m doing that with my own family in the sense of bringing my adult daughters who live in various parts of the country. They don’t want to go home,” explained Dr. Fauci. “They would love to be with me and I would love to be with them. But they are very sensitive to my age [y] that I am in a vulnerable group ”.
Overall, Dr. Fauci said he is optimistic about the direction of the pandemic as long as Americans do not abandon public health measures, despite some differences in state restrictions.
“What matters is that a public health issue is a consistent issue across the country. We shouldn’t politicize it,” said Dr. Fauci.
“We should be working together. We are one nation, the United States of America, and we should come together as a nation,” he added.
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