Dr. Fauci testifies on the latest coronavirus developments. Yahoo Finance’s Jessica Smith shares the details.
AKIKO FUJITA: Well, this morning in DC, Dr. Anthony Fauci testifying before Congress saying that we are in a race between the vaccine and the virus. He and CDC director Rochelle Walensky imploring Americans to go out and get vaccinated, as we see the vaccination rate fall in the US. Let's bring in Jessica Smith, who is following that hearing for us.
And, Jess, there were questions yet again about when we're likely to reach herd immunity. It seems like, increasingly, experts are saying we don't know if we'll ever get there. But Dr. Anthony Fauci today sort of a little more optimistic on that front, especially as we look to the summer months.
JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, Dr. Fauci did say that he thinks we're almost at a turning point. And as we've been hearing questions from lawmakers, that is sure to come up throughout the hearing today. But so far, a lot of the questions have been focused on the debate over IP waivers for vaccines, vaccine hesitancy, and the situation in India, and then, of course, the decision by the FDA to allow emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 years old.
The CDC committee will have to give a final OK on that potentially tomorrow. They are meeting to consider that decision. The CDC director has been encouraging parents to get their kids vaccinated when they are eligible throughout this hearing today. And in his opening remarks, Dr. Fauci says he thinks President Biden's goal of having 70% of US adults have at least one dose of the vaccine is attainable. And again, he said the US is close to that all-important turning point. Let's watch.
ANTHONY FAUCI: We are in a race between the vaccine and the virus, if left to its own devices, will continue to surge. Based on experience thus far in this country and globally, I feel confident that if we continue to vaccinate people at the rate that we're doing, that we will very soon have a situation where we will have so few infections in this country we will begin to return to normality that all of us desire so much.
JESSICA SMITH: Now, Dr. Kessler, the COVID Response Team's Chief Science Officer, did say as antibodies may wane over time and as more variants come about, he said that boosters may be needed at some point. So we can also expect questions about that throughout the hearing today.
They also have talked about the situation in India. And Dr. Fauci said there are some lessons that can be learned. He says that the US should not open prematurely-- or at least he said that could have been the situation in India thinking that the situation was wrapped up, and they may have opened prematurely. He also said that the US needs to boost its public health infrastructure and that this is really a global issue that requires a global response. Zack and Akiko.