Coronavirus cases are going down but not fast enough for the pandemic to seem anywhere near over. Concerned with the cases still infecting so much of the world, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed, and was asked about those who are skeptical to the science. Read on for six life-saving pieces of advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Dr. Fauci Said This About Your Personal Freedom
The question about personal freedom is "a very difficult question … I think the most important thing is to try and address people who have that attitude [by] trying to convince them of the importance of safety for themselves, their family and society," said Dr. Fauci. "I think what people have to appreciate is that indeed you do have personal liberties for yourself and you should be in control of that. But you are a member of society, and as a member of society, reaping all the benefits of being a member of society, you have a responsibility to society. And I think each of us — particularly in the context of a pandemic that's killing millions of people — you have got to look at it and say, there comes a time when you do have to give up what you consider your individual right of making your own decision for the greater good of society."
Dr. Fauci Called Social Media and Rhetoric Replacing Science "Mind-Boggling" and "Nonsense"
"This is something that is so disturbing to me as a physician, as a scientist and as a public health person. I mean, if ever you could imagine the worst possible environment into which a global pandemic emerges, it would be in an environment of anti-science [and] complete normalization of lies," he said. "It is just mind-boggling. I mean, if I were some diabolical, evil spirit and I wanted to cast upon the world the worst time to get an outbreak, it's when you have this kind of combination of divisiveness with the complete accessibility and spread of complete falsehood. There is nothing worse than that in the middle of a pandemic."
Dr. Fauci Said Your Decision Could Injure or Kill Someone
"When people realized, well, it's my body, if I get infected, I don't really care because I'm a young person and I likely, and they are correct. They're correct. It is likely if I'm a young, healthy person that I'm not going to have a serious outcome, but what sometimes gets blocked with blinders is that you could get infected, get no symptoms or mild symptoms and inadvertently and innocently pass it onto someone else that will kill them. I mean, that will kill them. And I think we really got to get people to understand that, you know, there are so many examples that you can give analogies of. You know, I want to drive 95 miles an hour on the highway, and it's my choice. If I don't get, if I get hurt, that's my problem. No, it's somebody who you might kill's problem."
Dr. Fauci Said "We Were Not Prepared for This"
"You can prepare, and think you are prepared," said Dr. Fauci. "But when you get a virus that by its hundred year historic capabilities can break through any preparedness, however, the degree to which you are prepared can prevent it from becoming an emergence to an outbreak, an outbreak, to a mild, to moderate pandemic, a mild to moderate pandemic, to a global historic pandemic. And what this has shown us is clearly, although we thought we were prepared, we were not prepared for this and even countries who did well in the beginning, as they say it came back to bite us all, we were comparing countries. Remember, 'This country is doing pretty well. The other countries doing not so well'. And at the end of the day, the virus proved to us that what we thought was good preparedness was not. We have got to have global transparency, global surveillance rebuilding up of our public health infrastructure within each country in the United States. We let our local public health infrastructure essentially experience attrition without rebuilding it. We should never ever let that happen again. Thank goodness that the scientific approach that we had been preparing for a pandemic using a prototype pathogen coronavirus allowed us to be able to respond with a vaccine so quickly. And, you know, in a somewhat paradoxical or diabolical way, the original SARS prepared us to be able to respond to this historic pandemic."
Dr. Fauci Was Asked Where We'd be With This Pandemic in 5 Years
"Well, here's an answer that's based on reality: We don't know," said Dr. Fauci. "And the reason we don't know is because we have a highly effective tool that if we fully implemented it over the next year throughout the world, by the end of 2022, where we will not be in a pandemic phase, what we don't know is what will happen if it becomes endemic, would it be a very low level that has essentially no impact on our lives? Doesn't disrupt us and overturn us and turn us inside out the way it has. Now. We don't know the answer, but you know what my response is, let's get out of the pandemic first. And right now we're still in a pandemic phase and we have the tools to get out of it, a highly effective set of vaccines. Once we do that, then we can really start figuring out how we're going to be able to keep it suppressed." So get vaccinated, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.