Dr. Fauci Puts Fears About the COVID Vaccines to Rest

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Posted: Nov 19, 2020 5:20 PM
Dr. Fauci Puts Fears About the COVID Vaccines to Rest

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

With coronavirus cases up across the country, President Trump directed his White House Task Force to address the country about the work they've been doing behind the scenes.

As Vice President Mike Pence noted, they've conducted over 170 million tests and over 140 clinical trials for therapeutics. America, he said, "has never been more prepared" to fight this virus.

Dr. Deborah Birx then provided a detailed analysis of the spike in cases, which she said was in part due to a "cold snap" in the country that forced many people indoors. She hoped that the graphs would be a "call to action" for folks to "increase their vigilance." With Thanksgiving next week, she encouraged people to limit interactions indoors to immediate households. 

But she ended on a positive note, saying, "we do know what to do," and handed the mic back to the vice president.

"We put this pandemic in the past the day we have an effective vaccine," Pence said, before introducing Dr. Fauci to the podium.

Fauci praised Operation Warp Speed, which has been supporting six vaccine candidates over the past several months. And the news that the vaccines being developed by Pfizer and Moderna are over 94 percent effective, is "extraordinarily impressive," he said.

"That is almost to the level of what we see with measles, which is 98 percent effective," Fauci said.

Fauci acknowledged that the vaccine will have its skeptics. But he assured us that the speed in which they developed the vaccine did not compromise the safety of it.

"We need to put to rest the notion that this was rushed in an inappropriate way," he said. "This was really solid."

He said they will get vaccine doses out to high priority individuals by the end of December.

Fauci reiterated Dr. Birx in noting that the way forward is to encourage folks to comply with the social distancing and mask-wearing. 

"We're not talking about shutting down the country," he said.