The nation’s top infectious disease expert says he will be spending Christmas with his family and encouraged vaccinated people to celebrate the holiday with their loved ones.
Over the weekend, Dr Anthony Fauci had said it was ‘too soon’ to say whether Americans can gather for Christmas.
But just one day later, in an appearance on CNN on Monday, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases said his comments were ‘misinterpreted’ and that he was not telling people to forego family get-togethers.
‘The best way to assure that we’ll be in good shape as we get into the winter would be to get more and more people vaccinated,’ Fauci said.
‘That was misinterpreted as my saying we can’t spend Christmas with our families, which was absolutely not the case.
‘I will be spending Christmas with my family, I encourage people, particularly the vaccinated people who are protected, to have a good, normal Christmas with your family.’
In an interview on CNN on Monday, Dr Anthony Fauci (above) said his comments on Sunday about how it was ‘too soon’ to say whether Americans can gather for Christmas were ‘misinterpreted’
Fauci said he will be spending Christmas with his family and encouraged vaccinated Americans to spend the holidays with their loved ones. Pictured: Fauci (far right) with his wife Christine Grady (second from right) with his three daughters (from left to right) Jenny, Alison and Megan
The comments come after Face the Nation’s host Margaret Brennan asked Fauci about the December holiday after he voiced cautious optimism about the country’s COVID-19 numbers going down – however warned that the country needed to remain vigilant.
‘You know, Margaret, it’s just too soon to tell,’ President Joe Biden’s chief medical expert said about Christmas.
‘We’ve just got to keep concentrating on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time.’
Fauci was doing the rounds on the Sunday shows.
On CNN’s State of the Union, he said he disagreed with Republicans and said immigrants are ‘absolutely not’ driving the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
CNN’s Dana Bash had asked Fauci about a Kaiser Family Foundation poll that found 55 percent of Republicans and 40 per cent of unvaccinated respondents blamed immigrants and tourists for bringing COVID-19 into the country and for the country’s high case rates.
Republicans also ranked immigrants as the biggest factor impacting COVID-19 transmission.
Fauci was also asked about Title 42, which allows the U.S. government to quickly deport border crossers due to the ongoing pandemic.
‘I am not as familiar with the intricacies of that to make any comment about that rule,’ Fauci first said before adding, ‘my feeling has always been that focusing on immigrants, expelling them or what have you, is not the solution to an outbreak.’
Bash also asked Fauci if he believed former President Donald Trump should get a COVID-19 booster shot on-camera.
Fauci didn’t immediately say yes.
‘Well, first of all, I would think everybody should get their boosters anyway, whether the president does it or not,’ Fauci answered.
‘I am sure that there are people who religiously follow what former President Trump says and does, that that – they may look at that and say: “OK, I will get vaccinated.”‘
Fauci also offered a ‘we will see’ and ‘I don’t know.’
‘I just think we need to appeal to the rationale of why it’s important, whether Trump gets vaccinated or not,’ he continued.
‘There are very, very good reasons, beyond someone specifically getting vaccinated, for people to get vaccinated with a booster shot,’ Fauci said.
‘The protection is waning, as we know. And boosters are going to be something that will be very helpful to contain the outbreak and to protect people.’
He added: ‘That’s the reason why they should get boosted.’