The White House has held “serious discussions” with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about recommending that those vaccinated for COVID-19 can socialize together, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci — who said he is eager to take up that advice and finally hug his daughter after a year.
Noting that “even though it isn’t backed by data, it’s backed by common sense,” Fauci told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday night that people who have received all their doses could start hanging out.
Fauci, who serves as science adviser to President Biden, noted that “even though the risk is not zero, the risk becomes extremely low when you have both parties vaccinated.
“So we’re going to start seeing people saying, ‘Hey, the more people get vaccinated, I can have dinner with my family member that comes in,” he said.
“Back before they were vaccinated, if they wanted to come to visit you, they would have to quarantine for a while, get tested, wear a mask,” the nation’s top infectious diseases doctor said.
“My professional judgment is that when my daughter wants to come in here and she’s doubly vaccinated, I’m going to have her over the house and I’m going to give her a big hug that I haven’t been able to do for a year, “ he added.
Fauci also discussed the new coronavirus strain emerging in the Big Apple that shares some of the characteristics with the South African variant.
As of mid-February, the variant — called B.1.526 — was present in about 12 percent of coronavirus samples collected in the city and surrounding areas, according to researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
“You know, it started off just a cluster in the Washington Heights section up by Columbia Medical Center and then it started to go through the other parts of the city, the other boroughs, and it’s something you really want to pay attention to because it has some worrisome mutations in it, the cluster of mutations,” Fauci said on CNN.
“Again, that’s the reason why keep doing the public health measures and get as many people vaccinated as you possibly can. Everything you throw at us about a mutant is going to be countered by getting people vaccinated,” he said.
When asked whether the current vaccines work against the variant, Fauci said: “No, we don’t know if it works directly against it, but that’s the point you want to get across to people.
“Even though this vaccine is not directly matched to a variant that might occur, wherever — South America, South Africa, California, New York — the higher the level of protection against the original one there’s a spillover of protection against the variant.”