Small gatherings by July Fourth ‘entirely conceivable’

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Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that it’s possible that Americans may be able to gather in larger groups on the Fourth of July – if the nation doesn’t pull back on public safety measures.

“You know, that’s entirely conceivable and possible,” Fauci said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“What the president was saying is that we traditionally have, at the Fourth of July, the kind of barbecue in the backyard, the kind of things that we treasure as Americans, as part of our tradition,” President Biden’s science adviser said.

Biden set an Independence Day goal of small groups being able to gather.

“He was saying we’re going to have that, if we do all the things that he mentioned. If we go beyond that, because we have such a low level of infection, all the better for it. I don’t believe he’s ruling that out, but he’s saying this is at least what we’re going to be able to do by the Fourth of July.”

Fauci also discussed the dangers still very present from the pandemic after more than 107 million doses of vaccines – about 21 percent of the US population – have been administered, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Well, if you look at the numbers, they’re still at a level that are really quite risky. We have that major surge over this past winter, where the numbers of cases went up extraordinarily high. We were up to 300,000 to 400,000 new cases per day and up to 3,000 to 4,000 deaths per day, and then it started to sharply decline, which is really good news,” said Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“It went down very sharply. But now it’s kind of plateaued, you know, anywhere between 45, 50 and 60,000 per day. That’s much better than the few hundred thousand per day, but it’s still at an unacceptably high level,” he continued.

The top infectious diseases doc also addressed reports of adverse reactions to the jabs.

“Thus far, and you have to keep following these things very carefully, there are no safety signals that turn out to be red flags,” he said. “We’ve had some allergic reactions that we’re well aware of — some anaphylactic reactions to the Moderna and Pfizer product.

“It ranges somewhere between 2 to 4 per million vaccinations. That’s still quite a low level of an adverse event. Other than that, there does not appear to be anything that what we would call a red flag. But this is something that’s followed very carefully by the CDC and by the FDA, but so far, so good.”

Meanwhile, about 30 percent of adults in the country are not getting in line for a shot, according to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center.

About 15 percent of people said they would probably not get jabbed and an additional 15 percent said they would definitely not get inoculated, according to the findings. 

President Biden recently set an Independence Day goal for small gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Biden recently set an Independence Day goal for small gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fauci warned about the complacency, citing Israel as an example of an all-arms-on-deck approach by the public to achieve herd immunity.

“If you do not get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated, you’re still going to have the virus have the capability of circulating in society,” he said.

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