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Dr. Fauci Just Said Six Words That Could End the Pandemic

“Occasionally young people really do get very sick and actually get hospitalized and die.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The end of the COVID-19 pandemic is so close yet so far, with more than 50% of Americans having received at least one vaccine—but some of the rest hesitant to get one at all. That may mean we're stuck with this virus forever…unless minds can be changed. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on MSNBC to discuss how we can come together and defeat coronavirus. Read on for 5 life-saving tips—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 98 Symptoms To Watch For Even After Vaccination.


Dr. Fauci Said It's Like We're at War—and Uttered These Six Key Words

A woman displays her vaccination card and the

"Public health is not a political issue," said Fauci. "Public health is what affects all of us. And that was really one of the issues that's so troublesome is that we've been through and still are going through a historic pandemic in the midst of, and in the context of extreme divisiveness in our country, which is really unfortunate because we should all be pulling together in this the same way you do when you are at war. I mean, you don't want to push that metaphor too far, but it is like a war and we have a common enemy and the common enemy is the virus. The common enemy is not each other. So if we could put that behind us and realize that the solution really is a vaccine, like "historically" it was "with other diseases," we'd be good.


Dr. Fauci Said "It's a Societal Responsibility to be Part of the Solution"

Happy vaccinated woman gesturing thumbs up.

"And with this particular disease itself," said Fauci, "we have highly efficacious and safe vaccines, plural, more than one. And we're fortunate enough in this country that we have a supply of vaccines where we can literally vaccinate everybody in the country. So that's the reason why we really need to do whatever we can to win over people who are hesitant to get them to realize it's important for themselves their own health, it's important for their family, but it also is almost a societal responsibility to be part of the solution."


Dr. Fauci Said Put Politics Aside, Get Vaccinated and Let's Get Back to Normal

Family reunion

"It really is a significant issue because the solution to the problem of getting us back to normal and getting the number of cases down to a very low level is vaccination," said Fauci. "And it seems almost paradoxical that the people who are saying that they want to get back to normal and that the restrictions that the public health community is putting on them is preventing them from getting back to normal. And the easiest way to do it is to get vaccinated." He said we need to reach out to "the people who are hesitant to get vaccinated and try to get trusted messages, people that they trust. They could be anything from a sports figure to an entertainment figure to a clergy person to their family doctor. And I think when you start breaking it down into political ideology, for a reason to not get vaccinated, that's just so contra to the concept of public health."


Dr. Fauci Warned Unvaccinated Young People Can Seriously Harm Others Inadvertently

Infected patient in quarantine lying in bed in hospital

"A significant proportion of the people who don't want to get vaccinated are young people," said Dr. Fauci. "And they say to themselves for any of a number of reasons, [say], I don't want to get vaccinated. And besides statistically, and they are correct in that, they're not incorrect: Statistically, if you were young and healthy and you get infected, the chances are, you know, maybe 40% that you won't even get any symptoms. And if you do, they're likely will be mild. Occasionally young people really do get very sick and actually get hospitalized and die. So you're not completely protected, but for the most part from a statistical evaluation, the chances are you're not going to get into a lot of trouble. 

"So people like that would often say, well, then the heck with it, let me get infected and do whatever the heck I want to do and not restrict my freedom as it were," he continued. "The only thing wrong with that dialogue is that means you're looking at yourself in a vacuum is, well, if I get infected, it's not going to impact anybody else. And that's completely incorrect because if you get infected as a healthy young person and you have no symptoms, it is likely that you will inadvertently, and I will say, even innocently infect someone else who then might infect someone else who really might get very sick. So if you want to be part of the solution to ending the dynamics of the outbreak and take not just a personal look at it, but take a societal responsibility to say, I don't want to be part of the chain of transmission to somebody else."

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Dr. Fauci Said "We're in This Together" So Act That Way

Doctor's gloved hands using cotton before vaccine.

"I want the virus to stop when it gets to me and not infect me and make me an instrument of its spread," said Dr. Fauci, "so even if you don't get any symptoms, you can actually be an instrument of the spread of the virus. So when you look at it like that, you can say, you know, I really do have a societal responsibility. What we're all in it together—the same way when President George W. Bush…went down in New York City and said, you know, we're in this together. We're going to get out of this together. That's really what we should be talking about." So get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek