Is This the End of the Delta Surge?
With cases going down, is the Delta surge behind us, Blitzer asked. “I hope so,” said Dr. Fauci. “It’s certainly going in the right direction. All of the parameters cases, hospitalizations and deaths are down. The critical challenge that we have,now, we want to keep that slope of decline, continuing to go down. We have about 68 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not yet vaccinated. The best way to assure that decline in cases, hospitalizations and deaths continues is to continue to get a lot more people vaccinated. We need the overwhelming proportion of those unvaccinated people to get vaccinated. And then we can be quite confident that if we can do that, you will not see a resurgence. It really depends upon us and our ability to rise to the occasion and get people vaccinated.”
Dr. Fauci Says Here is How to Get More People Vaccinated: Mandates
How do you get more people vaccinated when it seems like so many are unmoved? “First of all, we’ve obviously been trying very hard with trying to get trusted messengers out there and try and get this away from being an ideological political statement, get back into the realm of pure public health and try to convince people,” said Dr. Fauci, “but also mandates. I mean, we don’t like to be telling people what they need to do with regard to vaccines, but we know that mandates work. We’ve seen that they are working. They’re working in schools, universities, and colleges. They’re working in corporations like airlines with regard to their employees getting vaccinated. So although you’d like people to do it on their own accord, sometimes mandates actually can help in that regard as sensitive an issue is that is, it is really getting people more vaccinated.”
Dr. Fauci Said Getting Vaccinated is Preferable to Getting COVID and Then Taking COVID Pill
Dr. Fauci says thinking it’s OK to get COVID because Merck has announced a new COVID pill that reduces the risk of hospitalization and death would be “a misunderstanding about how important it is not to get infected.” The drug is good news but he continued: “The best way to get a hundred percent chance of not getting hospitalized or dying is to not get infected in the first place. That’s better than any drug. So although we’re pleased and optimistic about this drug, which is now applying for emergency use authorization, it should not be a substitute for preventing infection in the first place, which is why we get vaccines.”
Dr. Fauci Said Don’t Mix and Match Boosters—Yet
If you got a Pfizer vaccine, can you get a Moderna booster? No, not yet at least. “The advisory committee to the FDA is going to look at that data this week,” said Dr. Fauci. “The next few days, the 14th and the 15th of October, and then the following week that kind of regulatory decision will be handed over to the advisory committee on immunization practices for the CDC. And sometime in the first couple of days of November, we like very likely we’ll get a recommendation from the CDC. So you’re asking me, is it going to be approved? Well, let’s wait and see after the data are examined, but you’re quite right in the next a few days to a week, we’re going to be hearing more about it because the companies are going to be presenting both Moderna and J and J are going to presenting the data to the FDA for their advisory committee to look at.”
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow the public health 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.