Dr. Anthony Fauci is making headlines as he made the rounds yesterday by going on the Sunday morning TV shows.
Chuck Todd from NBC’s “Meet the Press” asked the good doctor about traveling this holiday. Here’s the transcript:
“Do we have the right protocols in place? Are we traveling — do you believe we’re, the amount of travel that’s going to take place in the next two weeks is reasonable considering the situation we’re in, or should we be — should folks be making — be rethinking their travel plans?”
“Well, I think people just need to be prudent. Clearly, when you travel, there is always a risk of increased infection. That just goes with respiratory illnesses. But if people need to travel and want to travel for the obvious family reasons, during this holiday season, if you’re vaccinated and you’re boosted and you take care when you go into congregate settings like airports to make sure you continually wear your mask, you should be okay. But we are going to see breakthrough infections, Chuck. There’s no doubt about that. The difference between a vaccinated and boosted person who has an infection, and someone who has an infection who’s never been vaccinated — a major difference with regard to the risk of severity.”
Then over on ABC’s “This Week”, host Jonathan Karl asked the soon-to-be 81-year-old doctor (his birthday is on December 24) about masks on planes.
“Okay. I also wanted to ask you about what the airline executives said this week about masks on airplanes. They — several of the top, you know, CEOs of the top airlines said that on an airplane, you are actually safer than you are in an ICU, that the protection with the filtration system they have. They were suggesting there really isn’t much of a need for a mask on an airplane. Are we going to get to the point where we won’t have to wear masks on airplanes?”
“I don’t think so. I think when you’re dealing with a closed space, even though the filtration is good, that you want to go that extra step when you have people — you know, you get a flight from Washington to San Francisco, it’s well over a five-hour flight. Even though you have a good filtration system, I still believe that masks are a prudent thing to do, and we should be doing it.”
I know some people took this to mean that we will be wearing masks on airplanes for the rest of our lives but if you watched the whole program or read the transcript, you will see that Dr. Fauci said we will eventually get back to normal. He said, “You know, we’re in a war, Jon. It’s kind of like we’re halfway through World War II, and you decide, well, I think I’ve had enough of this. I’m walking away. You can’t do that. You’ve got to finish it — and we’re going to finish this and get back to normal.”
I don’t like wearing masks but I do like the idea of having to wear them on airplanes, since so many people fly sick and have no qualms about doing so … or manners. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people cough or sneeze without covering their mouth. It’s disgusting. So if masks are one way to keep transmissible diseases at bay, then I’m all for it.