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Fauci: Getting A COVID-19 Vaccine Will Not Mean You Have ‘Free Pass To Travel’

It's "not a good idea to travel, period."
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases looks on before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo by
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Suddenly, Dr. Anthony Fauci is everywhere.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who served on former President Donald Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force, is now President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser on COVID-19. Trump sidelined the doctor after several disputes, but he’s re-emerged big time under Biden, and he’s making all kinds of pronouncements.

On Wednesday, Fauci warned that getting the COVID-19 vaccination won’t give people a “free pass to travel.”

In a CNN Global Town Hall hosted by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, retired nurse Carole Gardner told Fauci she and her husband wanted to travel to see their grandchildren. She said the two are set to get the second dose of the Moderna vaccine on Feb. 19 and asked when it would be safe to travel.

Fauci said: “The maximum immunity begins about 10 days to two weeks and beyond following the second dose… That would give you about a 94-95% efficacy and a good safety profile.” But Fauci warned that it’s “not a good idea to travel, period.”

“We don’t want people to think because they got vaccinated that other public health recommendations just don’t apply,” he continued. “So getting vaccinated does not say now I have a free pass to travel, nor does it say that I have a free pass to put aside all of the public health measures that we talk about all the time.”

Meanwhile, Biden is reportedly “actively looking” into mandating COVID-19 tests for all travelers on domestic flights.

Dr. Marty Cetron, director for the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was asked on a Tuesday call with reporters whether new domestic travel testing requirements about vaccines might soon be mandated.

Cetron said there were “conversations that are ongoing and looking at what the types and locations of testing might be … We’re actively looking at it,” the New York Post reported. “We realize that there’s been a dramatic evolution and increase in both testing platforms and testing capacity. I think this is a really important part of our toolkit to combat this pandemic.”

Last week, Biden signed an executive order directing U.S. agencies to make recommendations to “impose additional public health measures for domestic travel.”

On Monday, Fauci said wearing two masks is likely more effective than wearing one.

“If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on it; just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective,” Fauci told NBC News.

On a Wednesday CNBC program hosted by former Fox News host Shep Smith, former CBS/MSNBC/NBC correspondent and host Contessa Brewer said three is better than two, citing “experts.”

“So yeah, the experts keep telling us that wearing masks is really about protecting ourselves, protecting others from ourselves in the event that we are contagious. But you know if other people aren’t wearing their masks or they’re wearing them improperly, we need to protect ourselves. So experts say you can double up with a tight weave fabric mask for added protection,” Brewer said.

“Now, Virginia Tech researchers found that doubling up these cloth masks increases the efficacy from 50% to 75%. A three-layer mask could block up to 90% of the particles.” A graphic accompanying the declaration used the word “efficiency” instead of “efficacy.”

Related: CNBC Touts TRIPLE-Masking For Best Protection Against COVID-19

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