Is it safe to go trick-or-treating this Halloween? Dr. Fauci weighs in

>>> WELCOME BACK TO “STATE OF THE UNION.” HERE’S SOMETHING I HAVEN’T SAID FOR A WHILE, SOME Metropolis ARE TALKING ABOUT ROLLING BACK COVID RESTRICTIONS AS THE DELTA SURGE STARTS TO EASE. IS THE U.S. MOVING INTO A NEW STAGE OF THE PANDEMIC, AND CAN PEOPLE START TO RELAX A LITTLE BIT? JOINING ME NOW TO TALK ABOUT THAT IS CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN, DR. ANTHONY FAUCI. THREE OF FOUR ELIGIBLE AMERICANS HAVE NOW GOTTEN A VACCINE SHOT. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN TWO MONTHS, THE U.S. IS REPORTING FEWER THAN 100,000 DAILY CASES. ARE WE AT A NEW HOPEFUL MOMENT IN THE PANDEMIC? >> WELL, IT’S CERTAINLY GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, AS YOU MENTIONED. THE SEVEN-DAY AVERAGE OF CASES IS BELOW 100,000, SO ABOUT 95,000. HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE DOWN BELOW 10,000, 7,400 AND DEATHS DOWN BELOW 2,000. THEY’RE NOW AROUND 1,400. IT’S CERTAINLY Get IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. THAT’S THE GOOD NEWS. HOPEFULLY IT’S GOING TO CONTINUE TO GO IN THAT TRAJECTORY DOWNWARD.BUT WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WE DON’T PREMATURELY DECLARE VICTORY IN MANY RESPECTS. WE STILL HAVE AROUND 68 MILLION Parties WHO ARE ELIGIBLE TO BE VACCINATED WHO HAVE NOT YET GOTTEN VACCINATED. EVEN THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN VACCINATED, YOU Demand TO LOOK FORWARD TO HOLIDAY SEASONS AND SPENDING TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY AND DOING THOSE SORTS OF THINGS BUT DON’T JUST THROW YOUR HANDS UP AND SAY IT’S ALL OVER BECAUSE ON THE ONE HAND WE WANT TO CELEBRATE AND LOOK FORWARD WE’RE GOING DOWN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE PERIOD OF CASES OVER A PERIOD OF TIME, THEY CAN BOUNCE BACK. YOU DON’T Crave TO ALWAYS BE ON EDGE IT WILL HAPPEN, IT WON’T. IF WE DO WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING, NAMELY GETTING MORE PEOPLE VACCINATED. THE OTHER IMPORTANT POINT, DANA, IS RIGHT NOW THE DATA REGARDING THE SAFETY AND IMMUNE GENICITY OF VACCINES IN CHILDREN WILL BE COMING BEFORE THE FDA RELATIVELY SOON, AND IF THEY END WIPED UP GETTING VACCINATED, YOU HAVE ANOTHER SEGMENT OF THE POPULATION THAT CAN BE PROTECTED. >> YOU MENTIONED THE HOLIDAYS, THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS. HARD TO BELIEVE IT, THEY ARE JUST AROUND THE CORNER. CANADA JUST IMPOSED A VACCINE MANDATE FOR ELIGIBLE TRAVELERS ON AIRPLANES. FORMER PRESIDENT OBAMA’S SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION RAY LaHOOD SAID THE AIRLINES SHOULD PUT VACCINES OR MANDATE THEM THEMSELVES. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE A VACCINE MANDATE IN EFFECT FOR TRAVEL FOR THE HOLIDAYS? >> IT DEPENDS WHAT YOU MEAN. WE DO NOW HAVE A SITUATION WHEN PEOPLE COMING IN FROM OUTSIDE OF THE COUNTRY WHO ARE NOT U.S. CITIZENS, THEY REALLY — WE MUST REQUIRE THEY GET VACCINATED AS WELL AS GETTING TESTED BEFORE. WHAT THE PRESIDENT HAS DONE REGARDING MASKS I THINK IS IMPORTANT, NAMING DOUBLING THE FINE ON PEOPLE WHO REFUSE TO WEAR MASKS ON AIRPLANES. ON THE TABLE IS THE ISSUE OF MANDATES FOR VACCINES. IT’S ALWAYS DISCUSSIBLE. WE ALWAYS WIND UP DISCUSSING IT. >> DO YOU SUPPORT IT? >> BUT RIGHT NOW I DON’T SEE THAT IMMEDIATELY. DANA, I DON’T Demand TO SAY SUPPORT OR NOT. IT’S DECISIONS MADE BY A NUMBER OF PARTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING PUBLIC HEALTH.OBVIOUSLY FROM A PUBLIC HEALTH STANDPOINT, THE MORE PROTECTION YOU GET, THE BETTER IT IS. I DON’T Require TO WEIGH IN BECAUSE WE WIND UP TAKING PEOPLE OUT OF CONTEXT. WE HAVE EVERYTHING ON THE TABLE TO BE DISCUSSED BY THE FRALE GROUP. >> DR. FAUCI, IT’S BEEN 263 Periods SINCE PRESIDENT BIDEN TOOK OFFICE AND THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION STILL DOESN’T HAVE A PERMANENT COMMISSIONER, STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC. THE ACTING CHIEF CAN ONLY STAY IN HER POST UNTIL NEXT MONTH. DON’T YOU Visualize IT’S IMPORTANT FOR THE FDA TO HAVE A PERMANENT SENATE-CONFIRMED COMMISSIONER? >> OF COURSE IT IS, DANA. WE ALL KNOW THAT. THERE ARE SOME CANDIDATES THAT ARE STILL BEING DISCUSSED AND HOPEFULLY WE WILL HAVE AN FDA COMMISSION IN A VERY REASONABLE Reporting period. HOPEFULLY QUITE SOON. BUT, YES, I AGREE WITH YOU, OBVIOUSLY WHEN YOU HAVE AN AGENCY AS IMPORTANT AS THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, YOU Crave TO HAVE A PERMANENT HEAD IN THERE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.THAT GOES WITHOUT SAYING. >> ONE Last-place QUESTION, HALLOWEEN IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. A Bunch OF Parents ARE WONDERING HOW TO TRICK OR TREAT, DO THEY HAND OUT CANDY, DO THEY WALK AROUND WITH THEIR CHILDREN? WHAT’S YOUR GUIDANCE? >> I Make THAT PARTICULARLY IF YOU’RE VACCINATED, BUT YOU CAN GET OUT THERE, YOU’RE OUTDOORS FOR THE MOST PART, AT LEAST WHEN MY CHILDREN WERE OUT THERE DOING TRICK-OR-TREATING, AND Loved it. THIS IS A Meter THAT CHILDREN LOVE.IT’S A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE YEAR FOR CHILDREN. I KNOW MY CHILDREN ENJOYED IT. SO I MEAN, PARTICULARLY IF YOU’RE VACCINATED, IF YOU’RE NOT VACCINATED, AGAIN, THINK ABOUT IT, THAT YOU’LL ADD AN EXTRA DEGREE OF PROTECTION TO YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR COMMUNITY. SO IT’S A GOOD TIME TO REFLECT ON WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO GET VACCINATED BUT GO OUT THERE AND ENJOY HALLOWEEN AS WELL AS THE OTHER HOLIDAYS THAT WILL BE COMING UP. >> I WAS Really TOLD I ACTUALLY HAVE A FEW EXTRA SECONDS, SO I WILL Articulate THIS QUESTION TO YOU, HOW LONG DO YOU THINK IT WILL BE UNTIL IT’S SAFE FOR VACCINATED PEOPLE TO ONCE AGAIN BE INDOORS WITHOUT A MASK? >> YOU KNOW, I — IT’S ALWAYS TOUGH TO PREDICT THAT.I THINK IF WE CONTINUE TO GO DOWN IN THE CASES THAT WE ARE SEEING RIGHT NOW AND MORE AND MORE PEOPLE GET VACCINATED, AS THE DYNAMICS OF THE OUTBREAK, NAMELY THE AMOUNT OF VIRUS CIRCULATING THE COMMUNITY GOES DOWN, I HOPE WE WILL BE ABLE TO PULL BACK ON SOME OF THOSE RESTRICTIONS TO GET CLOSER TO WHAT WE REALLY FEEL IS NORMAL IN THE COMMUNITY. I HOPE THAT’S SOON, BUT I CAN’T GIVE A Prophecy OF A DATE ON THAT, DANA. >> WHAT DO YOU NEED TO SEE? >> WELL, I NEED TO SEE THE DYNAMICS OF THE OUTBREAK IN THE COMMUNITY GO WAY DOWN. RIGHT NOW EVEN THOUGH WE JUST SAID IT’S GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, WE HAVE LESS THAN 100,000, 000 Occasions A DAY, IT’S ABOUT 95,000 AS A SEVEN-DAY AVERAGE, THAT’S STILL WAY TOO HIGH.WE WANT TO GET WAY, WAY, WAY DOWN TO THAT. I WOULD LIKE TO Meet IT WELL BELOW 10,000 AND EVEN MUCH LOWER THAN THAT. BUT WHEN YOU’RE AT 95,000, US N AT VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER. DR. SCHAFFNER, I GUESS DR. FAUCI’S RIGHT ABOUT BEING VERY CAUTIOUS. I MEAN, WE ALL WANT THIS TO END, WE ALL WANT TO SEE THAT LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, BUT WE’VE SEEN THIS MOVIE BEFORE AND THE DELTA VARIANT WAS NOT THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, IT WAS AN ONCOMING TRAIN .>> YEAH, THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT, JIM. I SHARE DR. FAUCI’S CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM, BUT I EMPHASIZE CAUTIOUS BECAUSE WE’RE NOT THERE YET. YES, VACCINATIONS ARE INCREASING, AND CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS AND EVEN DEATHS OVER MOST OF THE COUNTRY ARE NOW DECREASING. I CERTAINLY HOPE THAT THAT CONTINUES. BUT YOU KNOW WE STILL HAVE TWO AMERICAS OUT THERE, THOSE Country THAT ARE HIGHLY VACCINATED AND THE Commonwealth SUCH AS MY OWN IN THE SOUTHEAST AND IN THE MIDWEST WHERE VACCINATIONS IN PARTS OF THE STATE ARE STILL VERY LOW. AND SO THIS ILLNESS, THIS VIRUS CAN CONTINUE IN THOSE PLACES WHERE VACCINATION Pace Was very low. AND SO WE’LL PROBABLY SEE TWO TRAJECTORIES OUT THERE, ONE STEEPER THAN THE OTHER. >> AND THIS WEEK FDA VACCINE ADVISERS WILL MEET TO DISCUSS MODERNA AND JOHNSON& JOHNSON’S APPLICATION FOR BOOSTER SHOTS. RIGHT NOW PFIZER’S IS THE ONLY ONE THAT’S BEEN APPROVED UNDER EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION.WHEN DO YOU THINK WE’RE GOING TO SEE THOSE ADDITIONAL BOOSTERS? EVERYBODY WANTS TO KNOW. >> WELL, MY FINGERS ARE CROSSED, JIM. I HOPE THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION GIVES THE THUMBS UP TO BOTH OF THOSE BOOSTERS, THE MODERNA AND THE J& J. THIS WEEK THE CDC’S ADVISORY COMMITTEE WILL MEET VERY SHORTLY THEREAFTER. AND I Remember THE GREEN LIGHT WILL BE ON. SO I’M OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THAT. SO, EVERYBODY WHO’S GOTTEN WHATEVER VACCINE WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A BOOSTER PRETTY SOON, I Study .>> AND WHAT ABOUT THAT MIXING AND MATCHING, PEOPLE WANT TO MIX AND MATCH? I MEAN, I Really Demand TO GET THE SAME ONE AGAIN. I GUESS SOME PEOPLE, THEY LIKE VARIETY, I GUESS IS WHAT IT IS. >> THEY’RE DOING MORE MIXING AND MATCHING IN EUROPE. AND PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN THAT FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS. THE FDA’S COMMITTEE WILL LOOK ABOUT THAT ALSO. AND I ANTICIPATE WITHIN LIMITS THEY WILL SAY THAT THAT’S OKAY, TOO. BUT THAT’S ALL ANTICIPATORY. LET’S SEE WHAT THEY SAY BY THE END OF THE WEEK. >> AND SOME OF AMERICA’S YOUNGEST KIDS AGES 5 TO 11 MIGHT BE ELIGIBLE FOR A VACCINE. PFIZER ASKED THE FDA TO AUTHORIZE ITS VACCINES FOR KIDS THAT YOUNG.HOW BIG OF A GAME CHANGER IS THIS, IN YOUR MIND, AND WHAT DO PARENTS NEED TO KNOW? OBVIOUSLY THIS ISSUE OF HOW LARGE OF A DOSE THE KIDS ARE RECEIVING, THAT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE PEOPLE MIGHT HAVE A BIT OF A MISNOMER ABOUT THAT. >> SURE. WELL, THE PFIZER VACCINE, WHICH IS, ONCE AGAIN, FIRST IN LINE FOR CHILDREN 5 THROUGH 11 HAS REDUCED ITS DOSE IN THOSE CHILDREN, AND THE DATA THAT I’VE SEEN SO FAR, I HAVEN’T SEEN THEM ALL, BUT THE DATA I’VE SEEN SO FAR INDICATE THAT YOU GET JUST AS GOOD AN IMMUNE RESPONSE, AND THE SIDE EFFECTS ARE COMPARABLE TO WHAT TEENAGERS AND YOUNG ADULTS GET.SO, THAT’LL BE VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. THE FDA, THE FDA’S COMMITTEE AND THE CDC’S COMMITTEE WILL HAVE A DISCUSSION ABOUT THAT BECAUSE THEY’LL BE BALANCING THE NEED FOR THESE VACCINES, WHICH MANY.

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