Fauci: 'More Restrictive' COVID Rules Might Be Necessary Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (Susan Walsh/AP)
By Charlie McCarthy | Friday, 17 December 2021 01:35 PM
Dr. Anthony Fauci on Friday said the ongoing national surge in COVID infections could result in "more restrictive" measures being implemented.
During an interview on CNBC, Fauci said numbers are showing surges of both the delta and omicron variants.
"If the counts keep going up and the test positivity keeps going up, we may need to be more restrictive," Fauci, the White House’s top medical adviser, told "Squawk Box."
"But for right now, people who are vaccinated and boosted should feel reasonably comfortable. The risk was never zero."
Fauci said he did not have enough scientific data to say what number of infections would force a need to be more restrictive.
"You've got to just take things one step at a time and take a look at how things evolve," Fauci said. "I mean, obviously, if you are vaccinated, your family's vaccinated, you have friends who are vaccinated and hopefully also boosted, you can still enjoy a social gathering generally in a home.
"You've gotta be careful when you go into large public indoor spaces where there are a lot of people there. And that’s the reason why you should be wearing a mask under those circumstances."
He added that people should continue to adhere the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations.
"Optimum vaccination is with the booster – there is no doubt about that," Fauci told CNBC. "Whether or not the CDC is going to change that, it certainly is on the table and open for discussion. I’m not sure exactly when that will happen. But I think people should not lose sight of the message that there’s no doubt if you want to be optimally protected, you should get your booster.
"We’ve got to get the unvaccinated people vaccinated and boosters really help, very, very much in protecting you against infection but particularly against severe disease that might lead to hospitalization."
Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told "Squawk Box" Friday that a surge in cases meant it soon might become difficult to get a booster shot.
"We know omicron moves very quickly … this variant is going to move much more quickly through the country than delta did, so people who are waiting to get a booster to afford themselves a measure of protection against this variant – time is running out to do that," Gottlieb said on CNBC.
"Appointments are going to fill up, demand’s going to surge. The best way to protect yourself is a booster shot."