Though Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, announced on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that a University of Washington analysis reported May 6 that the true toll is probably more than 900,000 is “a bit more than I would have thought.”
“Sometimes the models are right on line, sometimes they’re a bit off,” he stated.
With the U.S. vaccination pace decreasing, Fauci stated using “trusted messengers” will be an essential way to defeat hesitancy in some communities and get the country closer to an 80% vaccination rate.
“It could be sports figures, it could be entertainment figures, it could be clergy or it could be your family doctor,” he explained.
He spoke hours after celebrities from Prince Harry to Jennifer Lopez arrived on a TV and streaming special regarding the value of vaccines. Biden and the first lady further recorded comments for the event, as did Pope Francis.
The wider use of walk-in clinics or pharmacies is another main strategy to “get that last group of people who seem to be recalcitrant,” Fauci explained, by making the process more comfortable.
Looking ahead, if the U.S. satisfies Biden’s current aim of 70% or more people having at least one shot by July 4, “you may see blips, but if we handle them well, it is unlikely that you’ll see the kind of surge that we saw in the late fall and the early winter,” he said.
Furthermore, Fauci said Sunday that people may choose to wear masks through certain seasons when respiratory illnesses are more prevalent.
“I think people have gotten used to the fact that wearing masks, clearly if you look at the data it diminishes respiratory diseases, we’ve had practically a non-existent flu season this year merely because people were doing the kinds of public health things that were directed predominantly against Covid-19,” Fauci announced through an interview on NBC Sunday program “Meet the Press.”
“So it is conceivable that as we go on a year or two or more from now that during certain seasonal periods when you have respiratory borne viruses like the flu, people might actually elect to wear masks to diminish the likelihood that you’ll spread these respiratory borne diseases,” he went on.
Fauci’s remarks come less than a month after the Biden administration announced a relaxation of federal public health direction on wearing masks outdoors.