Outgoing Biden administration medical advisor and NIAID chief Anthony Fauci on Tuesday delivered what may be his final COVID-19 briefing to reporters at the White House.
Fauci announced his plans to retire in December of this year last August, as pundits became convinced that Republicans would retake Congress and begin investigating the controversial doctor for his actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognizing it would likely be the final time he spoke from the White House podium, Fauci insisted the COVID-19 vaccines are “safe” and “effective” and urged Americans to take the fifth “updated” version of the shot.
“Are [COVID-19 vaccines] effective? I believe you are all aware of this. If you look at the striking data overwhelmingly show the effectiveness of vaccines particularly in preventing serious illness and death,” Fauci said.
Fauci: "If you look at the striking data, overwhelmingly show the effectiveness of vaccines…" pic.twitter.com/NNqzMmi8ia
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) November 22, 2022
Fauci also stressed that Americans should get tested for COVID-19 before attending Thanksgiving family gatherings.
“First of all, everybody should be vaccinated and boosted, with flu and with COVID,” the retiring doctor explained. “Whether or not you wear a mask, or another thing we shouldn’t underestimate is testing.”
“So when we’re gathering at a family gathering for Thanksgiving, or for Christmas, or for any other holiday as we get into the winter, it makes sense that you might want to get a test that day before you come into a place in which you might be infected and spread it, or other people who might be there in order to protect,” he added.
Fauci stressed that people shouldn’t feel “guilty” for wearing a mask in a room full of maskless people.
“I know sometimes when you walk in and you have a mask, and nobody has a mask, you kind of feel guilty. You shouldn’t feel guilty. You look terrific,” Fauci said.
Fauci: "I know sometimes when you walk in, and you have a mask and nobody else has a mask, you kind of feel guilty. You shouldn't feel guilty. You look terrific." pic.twitter.com/yPTR8dU5cW
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 22, 2022
In his “final message” to the country, Fauci urged Americans to receive the fifth “updated” COVID-19 vaccine.
“We know so my message and my final message, maybe the final message I give you from this podium, is that please, for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated COVID-19 shot as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself, your family and your community,” he stated.
Prior to the midterms, prominent Republicans signaled that they would begin investigating Fauci in the new Congress, and his retirement was seen by some as an attempt to curb enthusiasm for such investigations.
On the topic of potential Congressional oversight that would legally mandate his presence, Fauci later declared that he would participate only if he considered them to be “dignified” in nature.