Lay aside the fact that any official recommendation to avoid holiday gatherings will be widely ignored, just as it was widely ignored last year.
It’s hard to imagine anything more helpful to anti-vax propagandists than having America’s most famous scientist still reluctant to condone celebrating Christmas together a year after the shots rolled out.
What was the point of immunizing 185 million people if families can’t get together to enjoy everyone’s favorite holiday for the first time in two years?
Do the shots work or don’t they, doctor?
HOLIDAY LOOKAHEAD: "It’s just too soon to tell," Dr. Anthony Fauci tells @margbrennan when pressed whether or not people can safely gather together for Christmas this year.
He says the country should instead concentrate on getting COVID cases down. pic.twitter.com/ey0ft9aCOh
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) October 3, 2021
Americans have spent the past month crowding into stadiums to watch football by the tens of thousands with no apparent ill effect. Cases have declined in the southeast over that period, in fact. That being so, how receptive do you think they’ll be to the message that it’s not safe to carve the turkey with grandma and grandpa even after each has had a booster?
Fauci seemed mystified when Hugh Hewitt asked him recently if he thought he was doing more harm than good as the White House’s lead COVID messenger. The clip above demonstrates why he shouldn’t have been.
Here’s what he should have said when he was asked about Christmas: “We all understand by now that there’s a risk of infection when people gather indoors for long periods, even if they’re vaccinated. But if you’ve had your shots, and particularly if you’ve had a booster, the odds that you’ll end up with a case that sends you to the hospital are very low. That wasn’t true a year ago, especially for senior citizens.” Why didn’t he say it?
Seriously, is Fauci following a de facto “zero COVID” strategy? Watch this:
“It is an assumption that it’s okay to get infected and get mild and moderate disease, as long as you don’t wind up in the hospital and die. I have to be honest: I reject that,” Anthony Fauci says. #TAF21 https://t.co/rEeWZWqPTI pic.twitter.com/0n9PBFSU31
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) September 28, 2021
I agree that we should aim to reduce infection, not just hospitalization. That’s why I backed boosters even though the two-dose regimen is keeping people out of the ER. But the point of the booster, I thought, was to let people safely reclaim a degree of normalcy by lowering their risk of getting sick after socializing.
In other words, get the booster, then have an old-school Christmas. You probably won’t get infected and if you do you won’t have a rough time. Fauci’s attitude seems to be to get the booster and to skip Christmas. Which would certainly reduce infections more than my approach would.
But it would also make life lonely and joyless, seemingly indefinitely. Is Fauci willing to pay that price? Because most people aren’t.
Exit question: What’s the point of giving public health guidance which you know for a fact won’t be followed?