New York: America’s top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci doubled down on universal masking and assured Americans that the “cavalry is coming,” in the form of vaccines which could be delivered as early as Christmas for priority populations.
“Help is really on the way,” he said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” show.
Fauci’s remarks come at a time when public health experts are rushing to warn Americans not to congregate indoors during the traditional Thanksgiving holiday. November-end is typically marked by a spike in inter-state family travel that ends with picture postcard moments comprised of turkey dinners and warm pumpkin pie.
This time, doctors have sounded the alarm that the risks of carrying on with this very American tradition in its undiluted form are going off the charts.
Echoing President-elect Joe Biden’s messaging on the virus, Fauci urged Americans to follow “universal and uniform” wearing of masks, avoid crowds, maintain social distance and wash hands frequently. All these are 101 in terms of public health advice since the beginning of the pandemic but have been roiled by counter programming by the Trump White House.
President Donald Trump has branded Fauci and his ilk as “idiots”, touted unproven drugs and run his entire election campaign in the form of multi-state super spreader events.
“It really does make a difference,” Fauci said about masks, as the US hit a new record of over 100,000 daily cases for the eighth straight day.
The US leads the world with more than 243,000 deaths and 10.5 million coronavirus cases.
Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech announced this week that their Covid-19 vaccine may be 90 per cent effective, based on early and incomplete test results that sent a ripple of hope across the world. Fauci expects that two other companies will also turn up encouraging results.
BY NIKHILA NATARAJAN
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