Dr Anthony Fauci shares Joe Biden’s concern that ‘darkest days’ lie ahead in the Covid-19 battle

“And the reason I’m worried and my colleagues in public health are also worried is that we’ll most likely see a post-season, in the sense of Christmas, New Year’s, a boom, and, as I describe it, has, as a a surge in a surge, because if you look at the slope, the slope of cases we experienced in late fall and soon-early winter, it’s really worrying, ‘said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Dana Bash about “State of the Union.”

“We are really at a very critical point. … I share the concern of President-elect Biden that if it comes in the next few weeks, it could actually get worse.”

The remarks from the country’s leading expert in infectious diseases come as the US records the deadliest month since the start of the coronavirus pandemic – with so far more than 63,000 Americans dying of the virus in December. More than 1 million people were screened at airports on Saturday despite warnings from health officials not to travel for the Christmas holidays, and the number of cases of coronavirus continues to plague the country.

Last week, Biden warned that the ‘darkest days’ in the fight against the virus ‘lie ahead of us, not behind us’, and urged Americans to prepare for the fight while criticizing President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic.

“One thing I promise you about my leadership during this crisis: I’ll tell you straight. I’m going to tell you the truth. And here’s the simple truth: our darkest days in the fight against Covid lie ahead of us, not behind we do not, “Biden, who received a coronavirus vaccine, said in a statement at the time.

“So we have to prepare ourselves, steel our spines. No matter how frustrating it is to hear, it will take patience, perseverance and determination to beat this virus. There will be no time wasted to take the steps we need to take. not to turn this crisis around, ‘he said.

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Fauci again on Sunday recommended that Trump, who has not yet received a vaccine, be vaccinated.

While Doctor, Biden and Vice President Mike Pence are among the notable government officials who have received the vaccine in public, the president, who has previously contracted the virus, said he would be vaccinated “at the right time”. A White House official told CNN earlier that Trump would be vaccinated if recommended by the White House medical team.

“The decision whether he is vaccinated depends on him and the White House doctor who is a person I know is a very competent doctor,” Fauci said. “My recommendation, and I have already said it, is that I will have him vaccinated. He is still the President of the United States. A critical person.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the vaccines should be offered to people previously infected with coronavirus, as Trump said in early October in his clinical guide to the coronavirus vaccines allowed in emergencies in the United States. It is noted that vaccination may be somewhat delayed, as reinfection is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection.

However, there are no safety or efficacy data for the vaccines in humans treated with Covid-19 with monoclonal antibodies or recovery plasma; Trump’s treatment for Covid-19 included the monoclonal antibody cocktail made by Regeneron. The CDC’s leadership said that “vaccination should be delayed for at least 90 days as a precautionary measure until additional information is available to avoid interference with the antibody treatment with immune-induced immune responses.”

Estimates for herd immunity adjusted

Asked about a report by the New York Times that he had moved the goalposts according to his estimate of what percentage of the population should be vaccinated against the virus to bring about herd immunity, Fauci told Bash that ‘the series is going to be somewhere between 70 and 85%. ‘

“We need to realize that we need to be humble and realize what we do not know,” he said. “It’s pure estimates and the calculations I made, 70 to 75%, it’s a range. The range is going to be between 70 and 85%.”

The doctor added that the reason he first said 70 to 75% and then increased the figure to 85% – an adjustment he considered a ‘big leap’, was based on calculations and pure extrapolations of measles . ‘

“So, I made a calculation that Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, is not nearly as contagious as measles, but measles is the most contagious infection you can think of,” he said. “So I would imagine you need something less than 90%, that’s where I’m at 85.”

Fauci said that everyone “should be honest and humble, no one really knows, but I think 70 to 85% for herd immunity for Covid-19 is a reasonable estimate, and in fact most of my colleagues are in the epidemiology agrees with me. “

CNN’s Naomi Thomas and Jamie Gumbrecht contributed to this report.