President Joe Biden just announced a six-point plan to defeat COVID, including vaccine mandates for a large part of America’s workforce, increased testing availability and more. The overall goal: To get more people vaccinated, since not enough people getting vaccinated is the main thing prolonging this national nightmare. How can you stay safe? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper about what you can to to stay safe—and had a warning about the rise in cases. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Fauci Warned Cases are Way Too High Right Now
Cooper pointed out that Fauci has been “consistent in saying that the country needs to be below 10,000 or fewer new cases a day. Since March of 2020, the country has never been below 10,000 new cases.” “It’s an empiric number,” said Fauci. “We’d like to see it much lower than that. We’d like it to see it be close to zero. And the thing that you do is you do everything you can, particularly in the arena of vaccination to get as many people vaccinated as you possibly can. And let that number go as low as it can go—saying 10,000 is a reasonable number, but you can’t just have one number that you hang your hat on. [President Biden] just wants to get it as low as you possibly can. The one thing we do know for sure: that 160,000 cases a day is not where we want to be. And unfortunately, that’s where we are right now.”
Fauci Said the Six Point Plan is Needed Because Too Many People are Unvaccinated
Fauci said Biden is “clearly frustrated and understandably so. We’ve done everything we possibly can do to get people to get vaccinated. We have trusted messengers. We’ve made it easy. It’s simple, it’s safe. It’s free. The data overwhelmingly show that in those areas that are under vaccinated, you’re having a high level of dynamics of virus. In those areas that are vaccinated, it’s much lower. The data overwhelmingly show why it is so important. If we want to get this outbreak under control in this country, get vaccinated. And the president is understandably frustrated, and that’s the reason why he came out with his six point plan.”
Fauci Said He’s Frustrated Seeing People Get Sick and Die When They Don’t Have To
Is Dr. Fauci frustrated? “Well, I am as a physician, a scientist, and a public health, individual,” said Dr. Fauci. “I am frustrated. And the reason is we do have the tools to end this. I mean, I’ve been in situations in public health situations where you didn’t have the tools to end something that was devastating for people with regard to illness and death. That is very frustrating. It’s frustrating in a different way when you have the tools and you have the wherewithal to get to the end game of where you want to be, but you don’t implement them. So yes, I am I believe equally frustrated. I don’t want to see people get sick. I don’t want to see them get hospitalized, and I certainly don’t want to see them die, but that’s what’s happening when you don’t vaccinate to the full extent possible.”
Fauci Said Testing Will be More Widely Available
Dr. Fauci said the President is “using the defense production act to get literally millions and millions of tests, many of them free for individuals. So the distribution will come right now. We just need those tests. And we are going to be accelerating the testing program as the president outlined in one of his six points.” One thing though: “Are we testing enough people who are without symptoms? And the answer is no, we all realize we need to do that more. And the more you test people you’ll get a better grasp of what the penetrance of the infection is, but that’s something that is very clear and we will be doing that. And that’s one of the things the president is talking about, expanding significantly, a testing capability and implementation.”
Fauci Said You Should Also Follow These Measures to Stay Safe
“The overall hospitalizations are about two and a half times,” said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who joined the segment. “What they were at this point last year in deaths are about two times, obviously a terrible situation.” Will the vaccine mandates “be in time for what we’re dealing with right now?” “Well, it’s certainly not going to be immediate,” said Dr. Fauci, “because you’re going to have to talk about a few weeks from the time you get your first dose to the time you get your boost and then seven to 14 days thereafter. So we’re talking about what happens today is going to have an impact maybe six or more weeks from now. So in the meantime, as you well know, we’ve got to do both. You’ve got to do mitigation at the same time as you do accelerating the vaccine program. And the mitigation has to do with masking mask mandates, avoiding congregate settings, particularly indoors. So many times you got to do both of those things simultaneously because there is that lag of seeks six weeks or more before you get the full impact of a vaccine that you give today.”
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.