CBS morning show co-host Gayle King told Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday she so fervently believes in his recommendation that Americans take the COVID-19 vaccine that she will not allow unvaccinated members of her own family to attend her Thanksgiving celebration this year.
In a Monday segment, Fauci, who is President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser and head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked to discuss the evolving Delta and Lambda variants of the virus, as well as the difficulty in convincing millions of Americans to take the jab.
“I think a lot of effort has been put into getting the messaging out, particularly utilizing trusted messengers in the community,” Fauci said. “People like the clergy, family physicians, sports figures — people that the community trusts.
“When we started with the vaccine implementation plan, there were large efforts like auditoriums or sports arenas filled with people getting vaccinated,” he continued, going on to note that he supports Biden’s door-to-door vaccine messaging plan.
.@GayleKing tells Dr. Fauci about vaccine hesitance in her own family: “I have this problem with some members of my own family, which I’m now going to ban for Thanksgiving vacation, that’s how strongly I’m taking what you’re saying.” pic.twitter.com/NIrb84q630
— The Recount (@therecount) July 12, 2021
“When you get down to now a core, lesser group, you’ve gotta go one-on-one, and that’s really what the president was talking about, about trying to get some of these advisers — not federal officials, but community people to go out there and try to convince people why it’s so important for their own health, for that of their family, and for that of the community to go out and get vaccinated,” said Fauci.
“We really need to get more people vaccinated ’cause that’s the solution,” he added.
King acknowledged Fauci’s recommendations and added: “I don’t know many more times you can say to people ‘Listen, it will save your life.’ I have this problem with some members of my own family, which I’m now going to ban for Thanksgiving vacation. That’s how strongly I’m taking what you’re saying.”
But notably, when then-President Donald Trump was touting getting a vaccine in record time through his “Operation Warp Speed” initiative, some Democrats flatly stated that they wouldn’t be jumping at the opportunity to take the jab because they didn’t trust Trump.
Fauci himself also expressed his own reservations about the safety and efficacy of the COVID vaccines shortly after Trump announced his $10 billion program and during their development.
Three days before Trump announced the program on May 15, 2020, Fauci told a congressional panel, “There’s no guarantee that the vaccine is actually going to be effective.”
Two days later after the announcement, Rick Bright, the former head of the federal government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, also testified to Congress about his doubts.
“Normally, it takes up to 10 years to make a vaccine. … A lot of optimism is swirling around a 12- to 18-month time frame if everything goes perfectly. We have never seen everything go perfectly,” he said.
In September, meanwhile, as the vaccines were nearing trials, Fauci again expressed doubts. Saying he “never liked” the name of the program because it “suggests, incorrectly … that you’re prematurely putting something out there that isn’t entirely safe,” he earlier had warned that the name also “subliminally” implies “reckless speed.”
During the sole debate between then-Vice President Mike Pence and then-Sen. Kamala Harris, she told the moderator, “If the public health professionals, if Dr. (Anthony) Fauci, if the doctors tell us that we should take (the COVID-19 vaccine), I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely. But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it.”
“We’re going to have a vaccine in record time — in unheard-of time — in less than a year. We have five companies in Phase 3 clinical trials. And we’re right now producing tens of millions of doses,” Pence said in response.
“So the fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine if the vaccine emerges during the Trump administration, I think is unconscionable. And Senator, I just ask you: Stop playing politics with people’s lives,” he continued.
Even the announcement that a successful vaccine had been developed appeared political. Trump had advised for weeks ahead of the 2020 election that a vaccine was going to be ready before balloting ended on Nov. 3.
But the lead company, Pfizer delayed its announcement until about a week later, leading several people to speculate that the company did not want to give the then-president a win.
“Whether it’s purposeful or not is unclear,” pain medicine specialist, Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil told Fox News regarding the delay. “But what I think will happen is that the people like…the Trump supporters may have an issue with the vaccine because all of these results were released after the election, rather than before, when Trump was promoting the vaccine.”
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