On Sunday, after Dr. Anthony Fauci cited the Centers for Disease Control saying that if the United States saw a significant surge from a COVID-19 variant, particularly one that might result in an increase in hospitalizations, restrictions on the public might be reinstituted, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) fired on Twitter, “Hell no. For petty tyrants like Fauci, they only have one tool in their toolbox: authoritarian restrictions. Enough is enough.”
For petty tyrants like Fauci, they only have one tool in their toolbox: authoritarian restrictions.
Enough is enough. https://t.co/01aTNDh3gE
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 20, 2022
Fauci , President Biden’s chief medical advisor, was speaking to the host of ABC’s “This Week,” George Stephanopoulos, who asked, “What’s your take on this BA2 variant?
“Well, as was said, it has this degree of transmission advantage over the original Omicron but not a multifold advantage, so it’s about 50 to 60% or so more transmissible, which means, ultimately, over time, it might take over as the dominant variant,” Fauci answered. “It clearly, throughout the world, it’s about 80-plus percent, 85 percent of the isolate. In the United States it’s still somewhere around 30%. So it does have an increased transmission capability.”
“However, when you look at the cases they do not appear to be any more severe and they do not appear to evade immune responses, either from vaccines or prior infections,” Fauci admitted. “So the bottom line is we likely will see an uptick in cases as we’ve seen in the European countries, particularly the U.K. where they’ve had the same situation as we’ve had now; they have the BA2, they have a relaxation of some of the restrictions such as indoor masking and there’s a waning of immunity. Hopefully we won’t see a surge; I don’t think we will. The easiest way to prevent that is to continue to get people vaccinated and for those who have been vaccinated to continue to get them boosted. So that’s where we stand right now; we can expect to see an increase, yes.”
“We’ve seen this relaxation of restrictions all across the country right now. Any reason to reverse that?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“I don’t think so George, not right now,” Fauci replied. “I don’t see us going back into any more really very strict of restrictions.” Then he cautioned, “But you always have to have the kind of flexibility: Remember when the CDC came out with the kind of modifications of their metrics which would lead to the guidelines of what regions or counties in the country should have a masking indoor? They made it very clear that as you pull back on restrictions, if we do see a significant surge, particularly one that might result in an increase in hospitalizations, we have to be prepared to pivot and perhaps reinstitute some of those restrictions.”
“But right now, at this point, George, I don’t see that,” he added.
Later, Fauci stated, “We just can’t stand still; particularly as we appear to be in somewhat of a low in the cases, where cases continue to come down, deaths continue to come down, and hospitalizations. That’s not time at all to declare victory because this virus has fooled us before and we really must be prepared for the possibility that we might get another variant. And we don’t want to get caught flat-footed on that.”