National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that vaccinated Americans would not yet take off their masks indoors because new COVID cases are "still way too high." The White House chief medical adviser argued that the number of new cases must go "way down" before most vaccinated Americans can gather publicly indoors without masks.
"It's about 95,000 [cases nationwide per day] as the seven-day average. That's still way too high," Fauci told CNN on Sunday, when asked if the CDC's indoor-mask recommendation for most vaccinated people should be relaxed. The New York Post reported that Fauci explained, "We want to get way, way down...to see it well below 10,000 [cases per day] and even much lower than that."
Fauci argued, "But when you're at 95,000 [cases per day], that's still a situation where you have a high degree of dynamic circulation of virus in the community."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fully vaccinated people must still wear masks indoors if they are in "an area of substantial or high transmission," citing the spread of the deadlier, more contagious Delta variant of COVID. The latest CDC data shows that more than 96 of the U.S. population is still in an area of "substantial" or "high transmission." But mask wearing is only required by the federal government on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation, as well as airports and stations.
Despite COVID trending in the "right direction," as per Fauci, the White House chief medical advisor warned against being quick to "declare victory" against COVID, Politico reported. He also underscored how there are still 68 million people who have not gotten the COVID vaccine despite being eligible for it. He explained that historically, "surges and the diminutions in cases over a period of time" are often followed up by another wave that can "bounce back."
For Fauci, the U.S. can face this if people decide to be complacent now, especially with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays coming up. He cautioned that people must not "just throw your hands up and say it's all over." He suggested instead that parents consider letting their eligible children get the COVID vaccine, especially since Halloween is coming right up.
But some medical professionals believe that natural immunity is more than enough to protect from another COVID infection. Take for example Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor Dr. Marty Makary, who recently visited "Morning Wire," a podcast from The Daily Wire.
"The data on natural immunity are now overwhelming. It turns out the hypothesis that our public health leaders had that vaccinated immunity is better and stronger than natural immunity was wrong. They got it backwards," Makary argued, as per WND. "Now we've got data from Israel showing that natural immunity is 27 times more effective than vaccinated immunity. And that supports 15 other studies."
Makary lamented that the U.S. government is downplaying natural immunity as a factor to help fight COVID in favor of vaccines. He said that vaccine mandates are "ruining the lives of people who are getting fired," such as nurses who are "heroes" and soldiers that are being "dishonorably discharged."
"They've got immunity," Makary said. "It's just not the type that our public health officials have sanctioned."