Is Fauci right pandemic won't end unless ‘overwhelming majority’ vaccinated?


Fact Box

  • As of December 1, there have been 13.9 million coronavirus cases in the United States, with 275,299 reported deaths.
  • During the Thanksgiving holiday, TSA “had its highest number of passenger screenings since March” making covid experts worry over the coming weeks of cases. 
  • Monday, November 9, Pfizer and Biontech announced a potential vaccine against coronavirus as “more than 90% effective in preventing the virus” in a study with 43,538 participants.
  • Tuesday, December 1, Moderna reported another potential vaccine with the efficacy rate of 94.1% in a 30,000-person study. 
  • Dr. Fauci stated that the pandemic won’t end until the “overwhelming majority” of people in the US get vaccinated. He wants to see most vaccinations completed by the end of the second quarter of 2021.

Bill (No)

Placing the focus on a vaccine to 'end coronavirus' is the wrong approach, but Fauci has a pattern of providing flawed analysis. Fauci has wavered in his narrative about coronavirus response and impact, which has effectively raised the public's fear about the impact of COVID-19. The reality is that 99.8% of cases do not require hospitalization, and the survival rate for Americans under the age of 70 who test positive is ~99.9%.  

We know enough about the effects of coronavirus to know it does not impact all people equally, so Fauci is wrong to suggest a blunt force approach to dealing with it. CDC statistics show that half of the reported COVID-19 deaths are over age 78 (average life expectancy). The data suggests that a 'focused protection' approach makes the most sense—ensure the most vulnerable of the population (the elderly and those with chronic co-morbidities) are safeguarded by adopting sensible measures (like home delivery of groceries, etc.).

There is no guarantee that a rapidly developed vaccine will be as effective as hoped. In fact, 'unanswered questions about COVID-19 vaccine characteristics are likely to remain even after trials are completed.' Recent flu vaccines had less than a 50% efficacy rate, so it's difficult to believe that a COVID vaccine will be the cure it's being touted to be. Additionally, vaccines, in general, have produced harmful effects, including neurological disorders, joint-related maladies, and autoimmune diseases. Finally, Fauci is irresponsible to scare and shame Americans into getting vaccinated by making statements like 'as long as you are susceptible, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.'

Tyler (Yes)

When Dr. Anthony Fauci's explained to Mark Zuckerberg that the pandemic wouldn't end if Americans refused to vaccinate, he was not misleading viewers. Previous methods of handling the virus have proven to be ineffective, and recent testing has medical professionals stressing the importance of getting vaccinated. 40% of Americans have stated they will not be taking the vaccine immediately. If close to half of the country isn't vaccinated, they will continue spreading the virus to each other. Fauci stated that a reluctance to vaccinate would remove the 'umbrella of protection' that the vaccine would create for society.

The vaccine will also prevent the virus's asymptomatic spread that occurs when people are not aware that the virus is present in their immune system. A study from Duke University found that 40% of children that tested positive for the virus reported having no symptoms. Somebody that isn't suffering symptoms may not be aware they had the virus and can fail to self-isolate properly. While young people may not be affected by this virus as much as the sick and elderly are, a vaccine can certainly prevent them from passing it to those that are more susceptible to falling ill.

Vaccines have reported efficacy rates as high as 95%, and COVID vaccines are soon expected to be available at pharmacies across the country. If these recent claims are true, then administering the vaccine will hinder the spread of the virus and allow the nation to begin recovering from the havoc that has been caused by the pandemic.

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