Fauci responds to critics of Christmas message: 'You don't have to cancel things' but 'be careful'
Fauci responds to critics claiming he wants to ‘cancel Christmas’
White House coronavirus task force member joins ‘Bill Hemmer Reports’ to discuss Christmas and COVID vaccine
White House coronavirus taskforce member Dr. Anthony Fauci responded Thursday to critics who have claimed he wants to "cancel Christmas" on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fauci told "Bill Hemmer Reports" Thursday that he has never recommended that Americans completely scrap holiday gatherings, but rather exercise caution when it comes to who they get together with.
"I’m not saying that everyone should cancel the family gathering, I’m saying that people will need to make individual choices," Fauci told host Bill Hemmer. "When you talking about having a congregate setting for dinner, [I'm saying] not cancel the family aspect.
"You have some Christmas dinners [where] people bring friends and others in who travel from different parts of the country. You could have 15, 20 people at a dinner," Fauci added. "That's really somewhat risky. You can do a modified version of that.
"You don't have to cancel things, you can still spend time with your family. I'm just asking people to be careful when it comes to travel that may not be necessary, travel that you can avoid, and when you get together, try to make some limitation to it."
Hemmer pointed out that Fauci himself will not be celebrating Christmas with his children for the first time in his life.
"I've heard and seen tweets saying, 'Fauci says cancel Christmas,'" said the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Nonsense. I've never said that."
Later in the segment, Hemmer pressed Fauci on his recent praise for New York's handling of the pandemic.
"Restaurants and bars [have a] 1.5% [transmissability rate] — You've got all these people out of work and all these restaurants closed. I mean, you really think that New York has made the best decision to do that when you look at those numbers?" the host asked.
"Well, you know, what we really need to do is make sure when we say limit restaurant capacity or close restaurants or close the bars, that has to be accompanied by relief, financial relief for the restaurant owners and the bar owners," Fauci replied. "Because certainly if you do that, if you shut down those establishments, you're going to diminish the transmissibility of infection. But you can't do it in a vacuum. You've got to help those people out. They've got to get some relief.
"Otherwise, they may not be able to recover from the fact that you're asking them to shut down. You've got to you've got to keep those two things together. You can't just say shut down and walk away … We can't ask people to participate in a public health measure that unquestionably is damaging to their financial solvency without coming in and trying to help."
Fauci, whom Hemmer noted turns 80 years old on Christmas Eve, added that he would "hopefully" receive the coronavirus vaccine "in the next few days."
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