Dr. Anthony Fauci said it’s “very frustrating” that roughly a quarter of Americans don’t plan on getting vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases was asked on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” how it must feel as the nation’s top COVID-19 expert that nearly 26% of Americans won’t get the vaccine, according to a Gallup poll in March.
“Yes, Jimmy, it is very frustrating,” Dr. Fauci said. “There’s a societal responsibility that we should all have to put an end to this outbreak. And if you have a group of people who understandably may think that they’re invulnerable because they are young and healthy … and therefore it doesn’t make any difference if they get infected because they likely will do well, that’s really not the right attitude.”
“One, you’re not exempt from a serious outcome,” he continued. “But also what happens is if you let yourself get infected, it isn’t just you in a vacuum. You may inadvertently and innocently infect somebody else who will infect someone who will really get in trouble. That could be someone’s grandmother or grandfather, someone’s wife who’s on chemotherapy for breast cancer. So you can’t think about yourself in a vacuum, you have to think somewhat of your societal responsibility. So that’s really the frustrating part.”
Mr. Kimmel, who called Dr. Fauci “a godsend to this country,” asked at what point the U.S. could “give up on these boneheads” and send the vaccine to India, where “they really need them and want them.”
“You don’t want to give up on people,” Dr. Fauci responded, adding that it needs to be “very, very easy” for people to get vaccinated in order to keep up demand.
Later in the show, Mr. Kimmel played a recent clip of Fox News host Tucker Carlson questioning why some colleges are requiring students to take the vaccine if “young people are not at risk of dying from COVID.”
“One, you want to protect yourself,” Dr. Fauci responded. “But also you don’t want to be part of the propagation of the outbreak. Because if you get infected, even though you’re young and healthy, you could, as I said, inadvertently and innocently, you could pass it on to someone else who could have a severe outcome. And when you get infected, you are propagating the outbreak. You’re not being a dead stop. You’re allowing the virus to continue from you to someone else. … You want to be a roadblock to the outbreak.”