On March 25, 2020 President Donald Trump declared a State of Emergency for the United States as New York City was reporting nearly 4,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, a number that doubled by the following week.
On that day, NYC recorded approximately 20,000 new cases with close to 900 deaths occurring each day; totals, which seroprevalence studies have suggested, likely captured less than 25% of the true disease burden. [Seroprevalence is the number of persons in a population who test positive for a specific disease based on serology specimens. – HH]
A week later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged mask use by the public prompting state mask mandates and capacity restrictions to be implemented across the country.
“Dr. Fauci says outdoor summer camp guidelines are ‘conservative.’ I say they are anti-science and detrimental to early childhood development.” – Nicole Saphier, MD, @NBSaphierMD, May 5, 2021
After a year of some of the country’s strictest lockdown measures and prolonged restrictions, NYC now has a 7-day average of 825 new daily cases and roughly 25 COVID-related deaths per day, both numbers diminishing each week.
Across the country, new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have dropped precipitously since early January as a massive vaccination campaign took hold. Now, over 59% of American adults have received at least one dose contributing to the immunity of the nation.
Reliable data confirm the vaccines not only protect against severe disease, but also offer protection from asymptomatic transmission and circulating global variants.
There is no doubt that people in this group should be mask-free in all settings unless they choose to wear one, as indicated in the updated CDC recommendations.
However, the CDC continues to offer little guidance about the unvaccinated including those who have recovered from infection and young children.
The CDC and subsequent statements by President Biden, including a tweet he sent that declared, “Get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do” set a treacherous precedent by indicating that only the vaccinated among us can return to normal life; affirming the vaccine as the only means to eliminating the pandemic.
This neglects the true definition of herd immunity … Click here to read more.
Dr. Saphier is a Board Certified Radiologist who completed her education at Mayo Clinic Arizona in a Women’s Oncologic Imaging fellowship. Primary focus encompasses Breast & Pelvic Imaging, with an emphasis on high risk malignancy screening, breast MRI, 3D tomosynthesis, mammography, ultrasound and PET/CT.
Transcript: Dr. Anthony Fauci on “Face the Nation,” May 16, 2021
CBS NEWS – The following is a transcript of an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Biden, airing Sunday, May 16, 2021, on “Face the Nation.”
JOHN DICKERSON: Now we turn to the coronavirus pandemic and President Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci. Good morning, Dr. Fauci.
CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN, DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Good morning, JOHN. Good to be with you.
JOHN DICKERSON: Good to be with you. The new guidance on masks is confusing people a little because two weeks ago the CDC said that people who had been vaccinated were safer while wearing masks. Now there’s new guidance, what changed in that period?
DR. FAUCI: Well, what’s happened, there’s been an accumulation of data on showing in the real-world effectiveness of the vaccines. It is even better than in the clinical trials, well over 90% protecting you against disease, number one.
Number two, a number of papers have come out in the past couple of weeks showing that the vaccine protects even against the variants that are circulating. And thirdly, we’re seeing that it is very unlikely that a vaccinated person, even if there’s a breakthrough infection, would transmit it to someone else.
So, the accumulation of all of those scientific facts, information and evidence brought the CDC to make that decision to say now when you’re vaccinated, you don’t need to wear a mask, not only outdoors, but you don’t need to wear it indoors.
JOHN DICKERSON: So, on that third point, let me ask you this. If I have no symptoms and I have been vaccinated, but I- but I am infected, what’s the difference between that? And if I have no symptoms and I’m infected but have not been vaccinated?
DR. FAUCI: Good question, JOHN. And what the- what the issue is, is that the level of virus in your nasal pharynx, which is correlated with whether or not you were going to transmit it to someone else, is considerably lower.
So even though there are breakthrough infections with vaccinated people, almost always the people are asymptomatic, and the level of virus is so low, it makes it extremely unlikely, not impossible, but very, very low likelihood that they are going to transmit it. Read the full transcript here.