Coronavirus cases are rising again, and the holidays haven't even started yet. Experts are concerned about this new "winter wave," especially since even those who have been vaccinated find their immunity waning after six months. (Get your booster if that sounds like you.) In response to the new surge, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on MSNBC's The Beat With Ari Melber to issue a warning and some advice. Read on for five tips that will save your life—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Dr. Fauci Warned That Cases are Rising
Host Ari Melber showed clips of people last year discussing the terrible surge we had. This year, cases are rising but "the big difference between what you just showed and where we are right now is the whole issue of vaccinations," sid Dr. Fauci. "We didn't have vaccines then. Right now we're in the middle of an upsurge in cases. We were down to 40,000, 50,000 after the summer surge. Now if you look at the last few weeks, it's gone to 60,000, 70,000, 80,000 and now it's up to 100,000 a day. A lot of that, not all, is driven by people who are not vaccinated, who are very vulnerable to infection. What we have now are vaccinations of a substantial proportion, good news particularly among the elderly; 80 plus percent of the elderly are fully vaccinated. So that's good in the sense of being able to protect them. The issue is we now have a couple of moving targets. The one that's really problematic is we have about 60 million people in this country, who are adults, who are eligible to be vaccinated, who have not yet gotten vaccinated. Now that we know that after a period of several months, even when you're vaccinated, the immunity wanes somewhat, more significantly among the elderly and those who may not have a very good immune system, but it wanes, which means we have the opportunity now to get boostered. So there's a lot of things different. We have vaccinations. We have people who don't want to get vaccinated, which is unfortunate. And we now have boosters. So we've got to get people boosted. If we can do that, we can be more safe than last time."
Dr. Fauci Said Travel Increases Your Risk
"You know, nothing is 100 percent risk free, Ari," said Dr. Fauci. "Sure, travel increases the risk of getting infected. But if you're careful at the airport, you wear a mask in the congregate setting of the airport. On an airplane, it's almost certain you have to wear a mask. We recommend you get vaccinated. If you don't know the status of the people that you're dealing with in an indoor setting, wear a mask."
Dr. Fauci Said Here's When You Can Take Off Your Mask
"If you're outside and vaccinated and you're not in a grossly congregated session, you don't need a mask outside," said Dr. Fauci. If you are with unvaccinated people: "Wear a mask. If you're with people. If you're alone inside, you don't need to wear a mask."
Dr. Fauci Said Vaccine Requirements Work
"We do know that mandates — let's call them requirements, mandate has a special tinge to it — that requirements work. If you look at United Airlines, about 99 percent of their employees are vaccinated. Tyson Food, Houston Methodist Medical System, they do work," said Dr. Fauci. "We also know from good studies that masks work. They`re not 100 percent but they do work in preventing infection. So we`re in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic that has taken the lives of over 770,000 Americans. Anything that gets in the way of containing that, I think we'd better think twice before we start pushing it. We would love to have a situation where you don't have requirements. Where people would see why it's so important, not only to protect themselves and their families but to fulfill their societal responsibility to get us out of this historic outbreak. That's the reason why you have vaccine requirements."
Dr. Fauci Said This About Kids Under 11
"I want to get the overwhelming population of children in that age group to be vaccinated. We know it`s safe and highly effective. There was a feeling they don`t get infected as much as adults. They do," said Dr. Fauci. "It is true that, in general, statistically, they do not get as severely ill for the most part as adults do. But we have plenty of children in that age group who do get seriously ill. There are about 2 million of them have been infected. About 8,300 required hospitalization and over 100 of them have died. So it is not a trivial issue with children. And they do spread it. Most of them—not most—about half are without symptoms. But they can spread infection and add to the dynamics of the outbreak. That's why it's important to get those children vaccinated." So get vaccinated or boosted, 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.