Former NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci was back on the Sunday shows last weekend as the media is once again fearmongering over the rise in COVID cases. But instead of feeding the panic the media hoped for, Fauci was more cautious, Politico reported.
While appearing on ABC’s “This Week” with host Jonathan Karl, Fauci downplayed concern over the rising cases, saying he isn’t “alarmed” but he is “keeping an eye on it.”
He noted that public health experts tracking the latest numbers are not predicting a “tsunami of hospitalizations” similar to those of the past.
Fauci said that the current level of immunity makes it unlikely that there will be an “overwhelming rush of cases and hospitalizations.”
Fauci said there has been “an uptick in cases” with hospitalizations increasing by around 17 percent and this will likely increase as we move out of summer and into the fall and winter, and “we need to be prepared for it.”
Fauci suggested that the country is in “reasonably good shape,” but should still be prepared for an uptick in cases. He said the next COVID booster should be “pretty well matched” to the variants currently circulating.
When asked who should take the booster shot, Fauci demurred, saying he wouldn’t want to get ahead of the public health authorities who make the recommendations. However, he added that the booster should be available to everyone and recommended for those who are high-risk.
Karl noted a recent study that found that masks were ineffective in preventing the spread of the virus and asked Fauci was his position was.
Fauci argued that there is “good data” that shows masks worked.
Fauci said if there is a “significant uptick” there may be recommendations to use masks “under certain circumstances,” like in crowded indoor settings. However, the former NIAID head added that federal mask mandates are unlikely.