Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. immunologist, says Americans should keep wearing masks — even when they’ve been fully vaccinated.
In an interview over the weekend, NBC’s Chuck Todd said, “We know Mississippi … has the lowest vaccinated race rate in the country. You are in Biloxi, Mississippi right now, Dr. Fauci. Would you be wearing a mask? You’re fully vaccinated, but would you be wearing a mask in Biloxi?”
“I think that would be a good reason to do that,” Fauci said. “I mean because they’re — as we’ve said so often that vaccines are not — even as good as they are and highly effective, nothing is 100%. And if you put yourself in an environment in which you have a high level of viral dynamics and a very low level of vaccine, you might want to go the extra step and say, ‘When I’m in that area where there’s a considerable degree of viral circulation, I might want to go the extra mile to be cautious enough to make sure that I get the extra added level of protection, even though the vaccines themselves are highly effective.'”
WATCH: If you’re going to a place with a low vaccination rate, “go the extra mile” and wear a mask even if you’re vaccinated, Dr. Fauci says on #MTP.
Dr. Fauci: “Vaccines are not, even as good as they are and highly effective, nothing is 100%.” pic.twitter.com/iaJHTaIUg5
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 4, 2021
Todd also noted that nearly 10,000 Americans died of COVID-19 during June and asked Fauci how many can be blamed on people not being vaccinated.
“If you look at the number of deaths, about 99.2% of them are unvaccinated about 0.8% are vaccinated. no vaccine is perfect, but when you talk about the avoidability of hospitalization and deaths, Chuck, it’s really sad and tragic that most all of these are avoidable and preventable,” Fauci said.
“Obviously, there’s gonna be some people because of the variability among people and their response to the vaccine, that you’ll see some who are vaccinated and still get into trouble and get hospitalized and die, but the overwhelming proportion of people who get into trouble are the unvaccinated which is the reason why we say this is really entirely avoidable and preventable,” he added.
As of Monday, 208,176 Americans have died of the virus since Biden took office, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
Last month, Fauci, who some critics claim has morphed his positions several times during the COVID-19 pandemic, said an attack on him was an attack on science.
“The more extreme they get, the more obvious how political it is … ‘Fauci has blood on his hands,’” the infectious diseases expert said in The New York Times podcast “Sway.” “Are you kidding me? … Here’s a guy whose entire life has been devoted to saving lives, and now you’re telling me he’s like Hitler? You know, come on, folks.”
Fauci doubled down on his claim that critics who attack him are “actually criticizing science.”
“It is essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves,” Fauci said. “And that’s the reason why I say people who then criticize me about that are actually criticizing science,” he told interviewer Kara Swisher.
“[T]he people who are giving the ad hominems are saying, ‘Ah, Fauci misled us. First, he said no masks, then he said masks.’ Well, let me give you a flash. That’s the way science works. You work with the data you have at the time. That is the nature of science. It is a self-correcting process.”
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