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Fauci Says ‘Too Soon’ to Say if Families Can Gather for Christmas; Migrants ‘Absolutely Not’ Spreading COVID

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday it’s still “too soon” to know whether or not it will be safe for families to get together over the Christmas holidays as COVID-19 continues to spread around the country and kill.

In remarks to CBS News’ Margaret Brennan during Sunday’s “Face the Nation” program, the lead U.S. immunologist was asked his thoughts about the holiday season as he expressed cautious optimism that the virus numbers are declining while continuing to remind viewers that the country must remain vigilant.

“You know, Margaret, it’s just too soon to tell,” Fauci, who is also serving as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said regarding the Christmas season specifically. “We’ve just got to keep concentrating on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time.”

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“Let’s focus like a laser on continuing to get those cases down. And we can do it by people getting vaccinated and also in the situation where boosters are appropriate to get people boosted,” he said.

“If you look at the history … of the different surges we’ve had, it’s come up, start to come down and then all of a sudden boom, come back up again,” he added, per CBS News. “As it’s coming down, we have within our capability, we can make this happen. Namely go down to a very, very low level, with vaccination and with mitigation.”

The Daily Mail reported that as Fauci made the rounds on the Sunday news programs, he also pushed back against claims from some Republicans that migrants being allowed to cross into illegally into the U.S. and then remain inside the country could be driving new infection rates.

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“When you have 700,000 Americans dead and millions and millions and millions of Americans getting infected, you don’t want to look outside to the problem. The problem is within our own country,” Fauci said. “Certainly, immigrants can get infected, but they’re not the driving force of this, let’s face reality here.”

The Daily Mail added:

CNN’s Dana Bash had asked Fauci about a Kaiser Family Foundation poll that found 55 percent of Republicans and 40 percent of unvaccinated respondents blamed immigrants and tourists for bringing COVID-19 into the country and for the country’s high case rates.  

Republicans also ranked immigrants as the biggest factor impacting COVID-19 transmission. 

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Fauci was also asked about Title 42, which allows the U.S. government to quickly deport border crossers due to the ongoing pandemic. 

“I am not as familiar with the intricacies of that to make any comment about that rule,” Fauci said, adding, “My feeling has always been that focusing on immigrants, expelling them or what have you, is not the solution to an outbreak.”

Bash went on to ask Fauci whether he thinks that former President Donald Trump ought to get a new COVID booster live on-air.

“Well, first of all, I would think everybody should get their boosters anyway, whether the president does it or not,” Fauci answered. “I am sure that there are people who religiously follow what former President Trump says and does, that that – they may look at that and say, OK, I will get vaccinated.

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“I just think we need to appeal to the rationale of why it’s important, whether Trump gets vaccinated or not,” he continued.

“There are very, very good reasons, beyond someone specifically getting vaccinated, for people to get vaccinated with a booster shot,” Fauci added. “The protection is waning, as we know. And boosters are going to be something that will be very helpful to contain the outbreak and to protect people.

“That’s the reason why they should get boosted,” the immunologist added further.

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