OAKLAND, Calif. - The disease expert who has served under six presidents over the last 37 years said the most hopeful thing heard in the long, hard year of the pandemic. Over the last two weeks, new data has led to a sea change in the pandemic.
No less than legendary infectious disease expert and chief medical advisor to the president, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN that once people are fully vaccinated, socializing is back on the table.
He said, "even though the risk is not zero, the risk becomes extremely low when you have both parties vaccinated...though it isn't backed by data, it’s backed by common sense." Added UCSF doctor and professor Monica Gandhi, "vaccinated people being together, for me, is a complete no brainer."
Gandhi has long professed what Fauci said.
"It is actually backed by data that vaccinated people can be together because that's what the vaccine trials are showing us and the real-world rollout. They are incredibly effective. They block you from having it everywhere, including in your nose," she said.
Fauci also said, "My professional judgment is that when my daughter wants to come in here and she's doubly vaccinated, I'm going to have her over to the house and I'm going to give her a big hug that I haven't been able to do for a year."
So is this just for your own social bubble or a much wider swath of humanity and normalcy?
"It's wider spread because vaccinated people are safe 100% from severe disease and, depending on the vaccine, from mild infections to variable degrees. But it's 100% from severe disease. So it's the same as if it's his daughter or another vaccinated person" Gandhi said.
She said that even though the latest data shows vaccinations can eliminate people from spreading the disease, it will still be a few months before it will be socially acceptable for vaccinated folks to stop wearing masks and social distancing.