Fauci Responds To DeSantis: Getting A Vaccine Or Not "Isn't Only About You" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Fauci Responds To DeSantis: Getting A Vaccine Or Not "Isn't Only About You"

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Dr. Anthony Fauci took to CNN on Tuesday morning to respond to comments made last week by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

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"Obviously it's important for you as an individual, for your own personal protection, safety and health. But when you have a virus that's circulating in the community, and you are not vaccinated, you are part of the problem," Fauci said. "It isn't as if it stops with you. If that were the case, then it would be only about you. But it doesn't."


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): The vaccines have helped people ward off severe illness, and you know, we obviously work very hard to distribute it. At the end of the day, though, it what somebody -- it's about your health and whether you want that protection or not. It really doesn't impact me or anyone else.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN: That's false. Please explain to folks right now why that's false.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Absolutely. Well, I mean, I didn't hear him very well from the sound, but, I mean, if he feels that vaccines are not important for people, that they're just important for some people, that's completely incorrect.

Vaccination, Jim, has been the solution to every major public health issue in which a vaccine was developed for. I mean, smallpox, polio, measles. I'm not sure what people are talking about when they push back on vaccinations. It has historically, over decades and decades and decades, shown to be the way you control an infectious disease.

SCIUTTO: Beyond that, I mean, to clarify, his point at the end there was to say, it's just a personal choice about yourself. It doesn't impact anybody else. Explain why that's just not true.

FAUCI: Yes. Well, that's not true at all. I mean, obviously it's important for you as an individual, for your own personal protection, safety and health. But when you have a virus that's circulating in the community, and you are not vaccinated, you are part of the problem, because you're allowing yourself to be a vehicle for the virus to be spreading to someone else.

It isn't as if it stops with you. If that were the case, then it would be only about you. But it doesn't. You can get infected, even if you get no symptoms or minimally symptomatic, and then pass it on to someone who, in fact, might be very vulnerable: an elderly person, a person with an underlying disease.

So when you're dealing with an outbreak of an infectious disease, it isn't only about you. There's a societal responsibility that we all have.
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