Fauci Returns to White House Briefing Room to Urge Public to ‘Double Down’ on Mask Wearing, Social Distancing with Vaccines on Horizon


Dr. Anthony Fauci, returning to the White House briefing podium for the first time in months, touted the “extraordinary” progress made in producing two highly effective Covid-19 vaccines, but urged the American public to “double down” on mask wearing and social distancing in the next few months until everyone is inoculated.

On Thursday, during a rare White House coronavirus task force briefing, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases walked through the two vaccines, one from Pfizer and one from Moderna, that have just completed their Phase 3 clinical trials and are now seeking emergency use authorization from the FDA. Notably absent from the briefing, Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist who has become the president’s top Covid adviser in recent months — and who has publicly clashed with Fauci while dismissing expert advice on mask wearing and social distancing.

Starting off his remarks, Fauci recounted one of his very first times briefing the press on the coronavirus.

“I recalled that seven or eight months ago, I stood at this exact spot at a time when there was an extraordinary surge case in the northeastern part of the country, in New York City,” Fauci recalled. “I said if the virus were left to its own devices it would control a considerable degree of devastation. That’s what pandemic virus’s do. It’s a very powerful force.”

“There is another opposing force and that’s the vaccine,” Fauci added. “Historically looking at effective vaccine through the years, they have crushed formidable outbreaks like smallpox and polio and measles. Let me tell you what will happen in the next few months. Operation Warp Speed has been supporting directly and indirectly six candidate vaccines, four of which are either in or completed phase 3 clinical trial. I want to tell you about two of them. You have to be interested in this. It’s extraordinarily impressive. Two of the vaccines, one by Moderna and one by the company Pfizer have completed trials and the vaccine efficacy point is extraordinary.”

The nation’s top infectious diseases expert then touted the safety of the vaccines and the scientific independence that went into developing them, clearly trying to reassure a somewhat skeptical public that getting inoculated is the healthy choice.

“We need to put to rest any concept it was rushed. This is really solid,” Fauci emphasized. “We will be getting vaccine doses into people at high priority at the end of December. We are not talking about shutting down the country or locking down. We are talking about intensifying the simple public health measures we all talk about. Mask wearing. Social distancing. Avoiding congregate settings. Doing things outdoor versus indoors. If we do that, we can hold things off until the vaccine comes. If you are a fighting a battle and the cavalry is on the way, you don’t stop shooting. You keep shooting until the help gets here. The vaccine should motivate individuals to realize this is something you want to participate in.”

Watch the video above, via Fox News.

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