National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNBC's "Closing Bell" that people who were refusing to get COVID vaccination were not doing so because of any Biden administration communication error.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNBC's "Closing Bell" that people who were refusing to get COVID vaccination were not doing so because of any Biden administration communication error.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” that people who were refusing to get COVID vaccination were not doing so because of any Biden administration communication error.

Anchor Wilfred Frost said, “Switching focus a little bit, Dr. Fauci. I wondered whether you felt there had been a communication error from government officials throughout this pandemic by suggesting initially that the primary reason to get vaccinated was to prevent you from getting COVID at all, as opposed to reducing the severity if you do or when you do catch it, and whether we’re now in rather an awkward position given that earlier calms that so many people are catching COVID if they have already received a vaccination, even if they’ve received a booster. It kind of puts quite an awkward spin on things now.”

Fauci said, “Well, I think it was the question of what people interpreted. If you looked at the clinical trial, tens of thousands of people in the original clinical trials, for example, with Moderna and Pfizer, the primary endpoint that led to the 94 and 95% efficacy in those trials was prevention of symptomatic disease, not prevention of infection. So, although you’re absolutely correct, there was a lot of people who understandably felt that I’m not going to get infected at all. The primary reason is to prevent you from getting symptomatic disease, but, importantly, to prevent you from getting serious disease. Now that could have been done better communicating to the public, I admit. But that is where we stand. The goal is to make sure people don’t get sick. Getting a positive test and being asymptomatic, so long as you don’t spread it to someone else, is a reasonably good outcome of getting vaccinated when you don’t get sick.”

Frost said, “Thus, Dr. Fauci, can you understand why some people are anti-vaxxers? Given how they first understood the communication and the results that you see today, can you understand how it’s possible for some people to have reached that conclusion? Whether it was incorrect interpretation of your messaging in the first place or not.”

Fauci said, “I would have to beg to differ with you. I believe when you look at the people who are anti-vax, they are fundamentally anti-vax, saying I don’t want anybody to tell me what I can do with my body. It is not because there’s a difference between getting infected and getting symptoms. I’m very sorry, sir, I would have to disagree with you on that if you go and do a survey of anti-vaxxers, they don’t tell you that’s the reason why they don’t want to get vaccinated they tell you they don’t want to get vaccinated because they’re fundamentally against vaccination.”

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Pam Key