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I don't think that's going to be a factor in whether or not the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and ultimately Johnson Johnsons vaccineThe FDA, will make a decision, the decision of what to do with this vaccine as a vaccine product is not going to be influenced by that. It's going to be influenced by the data and safety -- not in what's going on there.
The decision of what to do with this vaccine as a vaccine product is not going to be influenced by that. It's going to be influenced by the data and safety -- not in what's going on there, but you can be assured, and the American public can be assured, that no vaccines are going to go out of there unless Johnson Johnsons vaccineThe FDA is quite confident in them.
What you need to do is you need to look at the level of infection in the community, being vaccinated, the risk for you is very low. It isn't like before, when you were not vaccinated and you had a lot of activity in the community and you went into an indoor restaurant where there was no( restrictions)... your risk would be up there. Whereas now, the risk is not zero, but it's extremely low.
Getting vaccinated is the best thing we can do to fight back against these variants, while millions of people are vaccinated, we need millions more to get vaccinated. I need your help. I need you to help, not just the country, but your family, your friends, your neighbors, get them vaccinated as well.
We don't compare one to the other, the only way that you can effectively do that is by having head-to-head comparisons in a clinical trial, which was not done. And so, as Andy said, and I'll reiterate, it's a question if you go in and the vaccine is available to you, I would take the first available vaccine because the most important thing to do is to get vaccinated and not to try and figure out if one may be or may not be better than the other.
The President is taking very seriously the issue ... both from the student standpoint and from the teacher standpoint, he really wants to and believes that the schools need to reopen in the next 100 days, essentially all the K-8 schools, within 100 days. That's the goal. That may not happen because there may be mitigating circumstances, but what he really wants to do is everything within his power to help get to that.
What we now know from this study, namely the JJ and the Novavax study, that antigenic variation, i.e. mutations that lead to different lineage, do have clinical consequences because as you can see, even though the long-range effect in the sense of severe disease is still handled reasonably well by the vaccines, this is a wakeup call to all of us that we will be dealing, as the virus uses its devices to evade pressure, particularly immunological pressure, that we will continue to see the evolution of mutants.
I would back the CDC recommendations because that is really based on data, we didn't fully appreciate that early on. But the fact is that when you look at a community and look at the penetrance of the virus in the community and its spread at the community level, compared to the school in that community, it's less likely for a child to get infected in the school setting than if they were just in the community.
The President is taking very seriously the issue... both from the student standpoint and from the teacher standpoint, the President really wants to and believes that the schools need to reopen in the next 100 days, essentially all the K to 8 schools, within 100 days. That's the goal. That may not happen because there may be mitigating circumstances, but what The President really wants to do is everything within The President power to help get to that.
The number of vaccines that we’ve gotten into the arms of people, good start we want to keep going, get a lot of people vaccinated, but I do n’t think the dynamics of what we’re seeing now with the plateauing is significantly influenced yet, it will be soon, but yet by the vaccine, i just think it’s the natural course of plateauing.
What we will do and are doing already is making preparations for the possibility that down the pipe, down the line, we may need to modify and upgrade the vaccines. We don’t need to do that right now, the best way to prevent the further evolution of these mutants is to vaccinate as many people as possible with the vaccines that we have currently available to us.
Again, no excuses, but Anthony Fauci can explain why Anthony Fauci may not have gotten to the level Anthony Fauci want. Now, not to make excuses, we should have done better. So, let me make that clear, we should have done better, but I think we should wait until we get into maybe the second, or the third week in January, to see if we can now catch up with the original pace that was set.
We have a hard struggle still ahead of us for weeks and months because we face a new variant of the disease that requires a new vigilance, but as the sun rises tomorrow on 2021, we have the certainty of those vaccines. I believe 2021 is, above all, the year when we will eventually do those everyday things that now seem lost in the past, bathed in a rosy glow of nostalgia -- going to the pub, concerts, theaters, restaurants, or simply holding hands with our loved ones in the normal way.
We were hoping that as we ended December 31, we will have had 20 million doses in the arms of individuals and obviously from thenumbers thats not the case. What we hope is they will now be gaining momentum as we catch up with this, whenever you have a very large operation, such as trying to vaccinate an entire country with a new vaccine, there always will be bumps in the road and hiccups about that.
Weve got to be doing a lot of community engagement and community outreach to get people to understand the two things that bother people, they say, Well, maybe we did this too quickly, they need to understand the speed is really a reflection of the extraordinary scientific advances that have been made that allowed us to do things in weeks to months that normally wouldve taken several years.
We dont expect to see the full brunt of it between two and three weeks following Thanksgiving, so I think we have not yet seen the post-Thanksgiving peak, thats the concerning thing because the numbers in and of themselves are alarming, and then you realize that it is likely well see more of a surge as we get two to three weeks past the Thanksgiving holiday.
If we had for example approved it yesterday or tomorrow, there likely would have been pushback on an already scrutinising society, you know, at the end of the day, it’s going to be safe, it’s going to be effective, the people in the UK are going to receive it and they’re going to do really well, and the people in the United States are going to receive it and we’re going to do pretty well.
So, if we get the overwhelming majority of people taking the vaccine, and you have on the one hand an effective vaccine, on the other hand, a high degree of uptake of the vaccine, we could start getting things back to relative normal as we get into the second and third quarter of the year, where people can start thinking about doing things that were too dangerous just months ago.
Some people in this country are going to be able to have a relatively normal type of a Thanksgiving, but in other areas of the country, it's going to be,' You better hold off and maybe just have immediate family, and make sure you do it in a way that people wear masks, and you don't have large crowds of people,' what we're starting to see now -- and we can't run away from it -- we're starting to see in the Midwest and the Northwest, an uptick in test positivity, which tends to be a predictor that you're going to have surges.
We do know for absolutely certain that there is a post-Covid-19 syndrome -- referred to sometimes as long Covid, chronic Covid, long haulers, we're seeing variable percentages, and anywhere from 25 to 35 % or more have lingering symptoms -- well beyond what you'd expect post any viral syndrome, like influenza and others.
It's much more about some of the states like Utah, Nevada, South Dakota, North Dakota, where... they never had a pretty good reserve of intensive care beds and things like South Dakota. I hope they'll be okay, but it's still a risk that, as you get more surging, they're going to run out of capacity.
The issue that people say you don't want to alarm people is totally nonsense, in anything we've ever done in our history, Anthony Fauci know from world wars to depressions to anthrax attacks, now to an outbreak like this, the thing that gets people spooked is when they don't know what's going on, not when Anthony Fauci tell them what's going on.
Let's say... at the end of the year, there will be millions and tens of millions of doses available, it won't be until we get into 2021 that you'll have hundreds of millions of doses, and just the logistics constraints in vaccinating large numbers of people -- it's going to take months to get enough people vaccinated to have an umbrella of immunity over the community.
I will look at the data and I would assume -- and I'm pretty sure it's going to be the case -- that a vaccine would not be approved for the American public unless it was indeed both safe and effective, if that's the case Jim, I would not hesitate for a moment to take the vaccine Anthony Fauci and recommend it for my family.
If everyone contracted National Institute of Allergy, even with the relatively high percentage of people without symptoms... a lot of people are going to die, anthony Fauci look at the United States of America with our epidemic of obesity as it were. With the number of people with hypertension. With the number of people with diabetes. If everyone got infected, the death toll would be enormous and totally unacceptable.
Then there's the other thing that is really the chronic and decades-old dilemma of the social determinants of health, which is why African Americans have a higher degree of diabetes, of hypertension, of obesity, of heart disease, of chronic lung disease, of kidney disease, that does not need to be. But to get corrected, you have to make a decades-long commitment to change that.
We certainly need people to be rational about vaccines. They eradicated smallpox, they saved millions and millions of lives, they are very complex to design, and that's why, you know, saying it's being done at Warp Speed is a little scary, because you really need to do the safety checks very, very carefully.
It was only when the world realized how the gay community responded to this outbreak with incredible courage and dignity and strength and activism -- I think that really changed some of the stigma against the gay community, i see a similarity here because health disparities have always existed for the African American community.
I think we can't deny that fact, if you look at the magnitude of the 1918 pandemic where anywhere from 50 to 75 to 100 million people globally died, that was the mother of all pandemics and truly historic. I hope we don't even approach that with this, but it does have the makings of, the possibility of... approaching that in seriousness.
One of the things we want to emphasize and have been emphasizing is to take a look at where you are in the area of the so-called opening America again. Are you at the gateway phase one, phase two, phase three ? the CDC has guidelines about the opening of schools at various stages of those checkpoints. The basic fundamental goal would be as soon as you possibly can to get the children back to school and to use the public health as a tool to help get children back to school.
I would hope we don't have to resort to shut down, i think that would be something that is obviously an extreme. I think it would not be viewed very, very favorably... So rather than think in terms of reverting back down to a complete shutdown, I would think we need to get the states pausing in their opening process.
That is being discussed really very actively. We were discussing it actively today in the task force and I can assure you, it's going to be on the agenda tomorrow, given the fact that we know that asymptomatic people are clearly transmitting infection, it just makes commonsense that it's not a bad idea to do that.
> Washington( CNN) Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Tuesday evening took some direct shots at Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the President's coronavirus task force.Specifically, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took issue with comments that Anthony Fauci had made earlier in the day during a Senate hearing, when Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suggested that some states had reopened too fast and skipped some guidelines in the process.Texas was among the first states to begin reopening in early May but Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has recently reversed course after a spike in coronavirus cases.In defending Texas's reopening strategy, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick claimed that.
One of the problems we face in United States is that unfortunately, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are -- for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable -- they just don't believe science and they don't believe authority, so when they see someone up in the White House, which has an air of authority to White House, who's talking about science, that there are some people who just don't believe that -- and that's unfortunate because, you know, science is truth.
What happens is that in the standard way of developing a vaccine, you don't jump to invest in the next step until you're pretty sure that the step you're in is working, given the fact that we needed to do this as quickly as possible without sacrificing safety or scientific integrity, the federal government partnered with multiple of these companies and said,' Guess what, we're going to move fast and we're going to assume we're going to be successful. And if we are, we've saved several months. And if we're not, the only thing we've lost is money. But better lose money than lose lives by delaying the vaccine.' So, right now, the initial data from the study showed that. It makes me cautiously optimistic that we can induce a response that would be protective.
But if you look at the data, now that papers have come out literally two days ago, the fact that we shut down when we did and the rest of the world did, has saved hundreds of millions of infections and millions of lives, and yet, there are those who say,' You shut down, you did destructive things by disrupting the economy.' And others say,' Well, if you save so many infections by shutting down, why didn't you shut down two weeks earlier ? You could have saved many more lives.'.
I hesitate to make any broad statements about whether it is or is not quote 'safe' for kids to come back to school, when you talk about children going back to school and their safety, it really depends on the level of viral activity and the particular area that you're talking about. What happens all too often -- understandably, but sometimes misleadingly -- is that we talk about the country as a whole in a unidimensional away.
I hesitate to make any broad statements about whether it is or is not quote' safe' for kids to come back to school, when you talk about children going back to school and their safety, it really depends on the level of viral activity, and the particular area that you're talking about. What happens all too often, understandably, but sometimes misleadingly, is that we talk about the country as a whole in a unidimensional way.
I think you're going to probably be seeing a little bit more of me and my colleagues, we've been talking with the communications people, and they realize we need to get some of this information out, particularly some of the scientific issues for which I'm predominantly responsible for, so hopefully we'll be seeing more of us, will get the opportunity to talk to you.
Right now, if you take southern Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, parts of Asia, South America and even parts of the Caribbean as areas that don't have the healthcare system to be able to respond the way one can respond in New York or L.A. or New Orleans or Chicago, we have really a moral responsibility for people throughout the world.
What I've expressed, then and again, just my concern that if some areas, cities, states or what have you, jump over those various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently - my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks.
There is certainly not a confrontational relationship between me and the President, as I've mentioned many times, I give advice and opinion based (on) evidence-based scientific information. He hears that. He respects it. He gets opinions from a variety of other people. But in no way, in my experience over the last several months, has there been any confrontational relationship between us.
You got a problem there, you know why ? Because it is likely that if four of them are positive and they've been hanging around together, that the other ones that are negative are really positive. So, I mean, if you have one outlier( only one player testing positive), I think you might get away. But once you wind up having a situation where it looks like it's spread within a team, you got a real problem. You got ta shut it down.
The discretion is given to the governors. They know their states, the mayors know their cities, so you want to give them a little wiggle room. But my recommendation is, you know, don't wiggle too much. Try as best as you can to abide by the guidelines that were very well thought out, and very well delineated, some of them are doing that, but others are taking a bit of a chance.
This could be a major outbreak. I hope not. Or it could be something that's reasonably well controlled, at the end of the day, this will ultimately go down. Hopefully we could protect the American public from any serious degree of morbidity or mortality. That's the reason why we've got to do the things that we have in our plan.
The Federal Government's going to be depending where you are in the country, the nature of the outbreak that you have already experienced, and the threat of an outbreak that you may not have experienced, the Federal Government is not going to be a light switch that we say, OK, it is now June, July or whatever, click, the light switch goes back on.
You don't want to let up at a time that's premature, but right now we are clearly looking at if we, in fact, are as successful as we hope to be over the extended 30 day period that the President announced several days ago -- namely extending the period of restrictions and guidelines to the end of April -- that if, in fact, we are successful, it makes sense to at least plan what a reentry into normality would look like, that doesn't mean we're going to do it right now.
Viruses transmit from people to people. When people are separated from each other the virus does not transmit -- it doesn't go anywhere and that's the reason why something as simple as the physical separation... that's our most important tool, but this is what we have to do. As sobering and as difficult as this is, what we are doing is making a difference so we really need to continue to do that.
We argued strongly with the President that he not withdraw those guidelines after 15 days but that he extend them, and he did listen, dr. Debbie Birx and I went into together in the Oval Office and leaned over the desk and said, here are the data, take a look. He looked at them, he understood them, and he just shook his head and said, 'I guess we've got to do it.'.
Particularly now that we're getting some inklings that there's transmission of infection from an asymptomatic person who is not coughing, who is not sneezing, who just appears well. Well, then how do you think that's happening ? it very well could be aerosol. Maybe not aerosol, you know, that goes on for hours. But even the slight aerosol in which you're talking to somebody. If that's the case, we should at least look at the data and try to make a decision about that.
We felt that if we prematurely pulled back, we would only form an acceleration or a rebound of something which would have put you behind where you were before, and that's the reason why we argued strongly with the President, that Anthony Fauci not withdraw those guidelines after 15 days, but that he extend them. And he did listen.
What we are starting to see is that there are some people who are younger, people your age - young, healthy, vigorous - who don't have any underlying conditions who are getting seriously ill, it's still a very, very small minority, but it doesn't mean that young people like yourself should say, 'I'm completely exempt from any risk of getting seriously ill,'.
You need to protect yourself because you are not completely exempt from serious illness, and you can become the vector, or the carrier of infection, where you get infected, you feel well and then you inadvertently and innocently pass it on to your grandfather, your grandmother or an uncle who is on chemotherapy for cancer.
The way it happened is that after [President Trump] made that statement [suggesting China could have revealed the discovery of a new coronavirus threeto fourmonths earlier], I told the appropriate people, it doesnt comport, because twoor threemonths earlier would have been September, the next time they sit down with him and talk about what hes going to say, they will say, By the way, Mr. President, be careful about this and dont say that. But I cant jump in front of the microphone and push him down. OK, he said it. Lets try and get it corrected for the next time.
Younger people should be concerned for two reasons. You are not immune or safe from getting seriously ill. Even though when you look at the total numbers, it's overwhelmingly weighted towards the elderly and those with underlying conditions. But the virus isn't a mathematical formula. There are going to be people who are young who are going to wind up getting seriously ill. So protect yourself.
So the good news is that we have a tool we didn't have in the West African outbreak. The sobering news is that we're not able to implement it as extensively as we want to because we don't have access to all the contacts of the contacts of the contacts, because new cases are coming in that we can't trace to any known case.
Someone who is probably a rural worker in the woods, in the forest, in the jungle gets bit by a mosquito who is infected with yellow fever but likely got it from a monkey, so it goes from animal to human, but it doesn't get into the population of Aedes aegypti, which are very frequent in the big cities like Rio de Janeiro.
There are only individual case reports of significant neurological damage to people not just the fetuses but an adult that would get infected. Things that they call meningoencephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain and the covering around the brain, spinal cord damage due to what we call myelitis, so far they look unusual, but at least we've seen them and that's concerning.
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