Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday he’s no Grinch and wants Americans to have a normal Christmas, especially if they are vaccinated against COVID-19, hoping to explain a dustup over his winter predictions one day earlier.
“The best way to ensure we’ll be in good shape as we get into the winter would be to get more and more people vaccinated,” Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy of Infectious Diseases, told CNN. “I encourage people, particularly the vaccinated people who are protected, to have a good, normal Christmas with your family.”
Dr. Fauci spoke to the network one day after he told CBS’ “Face the Nation” it is too early to tell whether it will be safe to celebrate Christmas as normal, or if virus precautions would be prudent for the second year in a row.
He said the slope of viral transmission tends to go up and down, making it hard to predict the winter situation as nearly a quarter of eligible Americans remain unvaccinated.
Dr. Fauci said people misinterpreted his answer as calling for a clampdown over the winter holidays.
“My response was that’s really dependent on us,” he told CNN, adding that wider vaccination will improve things.
“That was the point I was making, not that you’re not going to be able to spend Christmas with your family,” he said. “I certainly am, that’s for sure.”