Dr Anthony Fauci joined the White House in defending President Joe Biden’s comment to 60 Minutes that the ‘pandemic is over’ saying Wednesday that ‘it gets really semantic and about how you want to spin it’ .
“Well, obviously that’s the question of the day that I’ve gotten maybe 500 times since Sunday,” he said at the Atlantic Festival in Washington. “What the president was referring to, and if you look at the entire quote – it’s not inconsistent with what I said the day before, that we still have a lot of challenges ahead.”
During Sunday’s 60 Minutes episode, host Scott Pelley remarked to the president that they were walking through Detroit’s first auto show in three years, then asked, “The pandemic is- she finished?”
“The pandemic is over,” Biden replied. “We still have a problem with COVID. We are still working on it a lot. It is – but the pandemic is over.
“If you notice, no one is wearing a mask. Everyone seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think that’s changing. And I think this is a perfect example of that,’ Biden added.
Dr Anthony Fauci (right) tried to explain on Wednesday what President Joe Biden meant when he declared the pandemic to be “over” during an appearance at the Atlantic Festival. He was interviewed by The Atlantic’s Ross Andersen (left)
President Joe Biden (left) toured the Detroit Auto Show with 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley (right) on Wednesday for an episode that aired on Sunday. Biden’s comments that the ‘pandemic is over’ have received a lot of attention as Fauci appears to have said otherwise recently
Earlier on Wednesday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre suggested he was answering the question in the context of events like the auto show and the United Nations General Assembly again happening in person.
“So just to step back for a second, what we saw in this interview, 60 minute interview, when he made those comments he was walking around the Detroit auto show, the halls of the show Detroit Motor Show, and he was looking around,” she explained in Morning Joe. “We have to remember that the last time they had this event was three years ago. .”
Fauci said Biden was trying to make the case that “it’s very different now.”
‘We have much better control and I’m going to move on to the next few words he said – we have vaccinations, we have boosters, we’ve had availability for the last two weeks of an updated vaccine that actually matches to the circulating strain. .. and we have antibodies,” Fauci said. “But the next sentence, he went on and said we still have a lot of work to do because we’re really not done with COVID.”
Fauci then reminded Ross Andersen of The Atlantic that the point he made was that “400 deaths a day is not an acceptable number.”
In the wide-ranging interview, which touched on the politicization and origin of COVID, his work on AIDS and PEPFAR, and what he might do next, Fauci explained that he’s not the guy. who should appear on Bobbleheads, nor be the focus of right-wing conspiracy theories.
He said his biggest regret was not explaining more clearly that “science and data change from day to day and week to week.”
Fauci admitted the shutdowns were ‘pretty draconian’ and that he was ‘so stunned that people understood why these things were done and that led to a lot of criticism, and criticism is often amplified by the media social, which you don’t need. tell you how it works.
Explaining on stage, he explains that “sometimes when you do drastic things, it has collateral negative consequences, just like when you close things, even temporarily, it has deleterious consequences, on the economy, on schoolchildren, you know that”. ‘
“But you have to strike a balance when you’re dealing with yourself, the only way to stop something cold in its tracks is to try to shut things down,” he said. “You try to close things for fun, that’s bad. But in order to be able to regroup so that you can then open up safely, that’s the best way to do it.
Fauci has already announced that he will step down from government in December, but during the Atlantic Festival he hinted that he would potentially write a book, among other “reconnect” activities.
The 81-year-old director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said he would try “to inspire the younger generation of scientists and future scientists.”
“If I can do that by writing, by giving talks, by traveling – whether I’m writing articles or books or whatever – to inspire people, I think that’s probably the best way to spend the next two years before I’m too weak to do anything,’ Fauci said.