WASHINGTON — Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says he “wants to settle” concerns about a coronavirus vaccine as he returned to the White House podium for the first time in months.
Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says the Food and Drug Administration will thoroughly study the data before it approves any emergency use of a vaccine and he wants to “put to rest any concept that this was rushed in an inappropriate way. This is really solid.”
“The process of the speed did not compromise safety,” Fauci said. “I really want to settle that concern that people have about that.”
Fauci says that while “help is on the way” with a vaccine, it’s time for the American people to wear a mask, avoid crowds and do things as much as possible outdoors rather than indoors.
“Now, what does that mean for us?” Fauci continued. “It means we actually need to double down on the public health measures as we’re waiting for that help to come, which will be soon. We’ll be getting vaccine doses into people at high priority at the end of December. We’re not talking about shutting down the country, we’re not talking about locking down.”
Fauci spoke as members of the White House coronavirus task force addressed concerns about a surge in COVID-19 cases around the country, leading to a spike in hospitalizations and more deaths.