While we are clearly in a better place in the pandemic than just a few months ago, it isn’t over yet. During Monday’s White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, begged Americans to keep getting vaccinated and following public health measures, offering up a message of hope. Read on to hear what he had to say—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.
The Potential Health Damage of COVID Is Startling
Dr. Fauci started by going over the cold, hard facts. “This is a very serious disease, which has already led to the death of about 550,000 people in the United States,” Dr. Fauci pointed out. He also discussed some of the long term health repercussions that survivors deal with, including “multi-system manifestations” like ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and neurological disorders, cardiac dysfunction, acute kidney injury, hypercoagulability, and lung damage. “This is a very, very bad disease,” he continued.
Vaccines and Public Health Fundamentals Work
Dr. Fauci also pointed out that we have two key tools in ending the pandemic: The fundamental public health measures that the CDC has been encouraging for many months and getting vaccinated when it is your turn. In fact, he even offered evidence that those who are vaccinated are almost 100 percent protected against hospitalizations and death.
While we amp up vaccination, “we really need to hold onto the public health measures,” he said. “It will be a race between the vaccine and what’s going on with the dynamics of the outbreak. And we can win this, but just hang in there a bit longer,” he urged.
Dr. Fauci Says Avoid Travel
“The goal is not to open up travel, open up things because we’re scaling up vaccination,” Dr. Walensky said last week to Kaiser Health News. She and Fauci have both said to avoid inessential travel, although Fauci has also said: “It depends on your individual circumstances. If you are someone who is in the highest risk category, as best as possible, don’t travel anywhere. Or if you go someplace, you have a car, you’re in your car by yourself, not getting on a crowded subway, not getting on a crowded bus or even flying in an airplane. If you’re a 25-year-old who has no underlying conditions, that’s much different.”
Dr. Fauci Says Avoid Gatherings—Unless it’s a Small Get-Together In Which Every Person Has Been Vaccinated
Fauci, who got the Moderna vaccine, has said he allows people who were vaccinated into his house, but rarely. “If we have someone in the house that would be a non-occupant of the house, it’s somebody that we know has either been vaccinated or tests themselves very, very frequently,” he said. “So we’re still very careful.” “Like I use the example of a daughter coming in from out of town who is doubly vaccinated and a husband and wife who are vaccinated, and maybe a next door neighbor who, you know, was vaccinated—small gatherings in the home of people. I think you can clearly feel that the relative risk is so low that you would not have to wear a mask that you can have a good social gathering within the home.”
Do Your Part in Ending the Pandemic
So follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, 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, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, 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.