Dr Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that it was too early to say whether Americans can hold large family gatherings to celebrate Christmas this year as the Delta variant of the coronavirus continued to spread in spite of government restrictions.
“It’s just too soon to tell,” Dr Fauci told host Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation on CBS News when she asked if Americans can gather for Christmas 2021.
“We’ve just got to keep concentrating on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time,” Dr Fauci said.
“Let’s focus like a laser on continuing to get those cases down. And we can do it by people getting vaccinated and also, in the situation where boosters are appropriate, to get people boosted, because we know that they can help greatly in diminishing infection and diminishing advanced disease, the kinds of data that are now accumulating in real time,” he added.
On Friday, US crossed the grim milestone of registering 700,000 Covid deaths. The country has so far reported more than 43.6 million confirmed Covid cases.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has urged unvaccinated individuals to avoid traveling for the holidays and wear a mask if they attend indoor parties.
Though hospitalisations linked to coronavirus and average daily cases have gone down by 30 per cent over the last month, infections could surge again, Dr Fauci, who was doing the rounds of Sunday shows, said on ABC’s This Week.
“We certainly are turning the corner on this particular surge,” he said. “But we have experienced over … 20 months, surges that go up and then come down, and then go back up again,” he said.
Dr Fauci also shot down a popular, allegedly Republican, belief that immigrants were responsible for the surge in cases in the US. “When you have 700,000 Americans dead and millions and million and millions of Americans getting infected, you don’t want to look outside to the problem. The problem is within our own country,” he said on CNN.
He was asked about the Kaiser Family Foundation poll, in which 55 per cent of Republicans and 40 per cent of unvaccinated respondents said immigrants and tourists were to be blamed for bringing Covid-19 into the country.
“Certainly immigrants can get infected, but they’re not the driving force of this, let’s face reality here,” he said.