In a Fox News interview with Bill Hemmer, Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed everything from the coronavirus vaccine to holiday suggestions and even the World Health Organization.
Fauci said that at the time he took his position in 1984, he never could have imagined a vaccine getting approved for distribution so quickly.
“It would have been unimaginable at the time I took the position as director of this institute where vaccines, from the time you actually identified the particular pathogen – generally a virus – to the time you got it approved and ready to put into people would be measured in several years,” he said.
“It’s a testimony to the advances in biomedical research and technology as well as the enormous amount of resources that have been poured into Operation Warp Speed to make this possible with this vaccine and other candidates that are on the pipeline,” he added.
Fauci explained that “the technology is the thing that did it and it’s also the nature of the virus itself.”
While many have criticized President Trump for his efforts in Operation Warp Speed, Fauci said that the investment made was “very very smart.”
“What happened is that the investment that was made in Operation Warp Speed was a very very smart, important investment because what one does with that, you combine the exquisite nature of the technology which allowed you to do it quickly with an investment that in fact makes the process go much more quickly because instead of waiting for one endpoint to go to the next to the next, you make a risky investment,” he said.
“The risk is not the safety, the risk is not the scientific integrity, the risk is the money…if it doesn’t work, you lost a lot of money,” he added.
In terms of timing for the vaccine, Fauci explained that distribution will occur in tiers.
“By likely the end of December, the people who are in the first tier of prioritization, which has not yet been determined, it will be determined by the CDC together with advice from the advisory committee on immunization practices. It’s likely going to be people who are healthcare workers and high risk people.”
While the CDC and leadership in several states are urging people not to celebrate Thanksgiving, Fauci said that every family should do what they feel is best for them.
“You can’t make one prescriptive determination for everyone. Everyone is different. Everyone has a different feel for the type of risks they would like to take,” he said.
“The circumstances within families are different. So the only thing that I called for at the press briefing at the White House yesterday was that each individual family unit do a risk benefit determination that works for you because there are some families that want to just have the family unit that lives in the house. There are a lot of others that are going to want to have visitors come in. So you say to yourself, ‘do we have in our family a vulnerable person, an elderly person?’ You’ve got to make your determination as an individual family unit. I don’t say that this is the rules everyone should do, I’m just asking, pause for a moment and do a determination of the risk benefit within your family group and then when you make your decision, that’s your decision.”
When asked about his opinion on the WHO, Fauci said he agrees with President Trump that it is a flawed organization.
“The president makes some good points that it is a flawed organization. His approach was that if that’s the case, we’re getting out until they fix it and I would say let’s try and fix it as we’re moving along because the world does need a WHO. So we both agree that it is a flawed organization but how you address that flaw might be different.”