Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday urged parents celebrating Halloween to get vaccinated against the coronavirus but described the holiday's activities as low risk, given that they are mostly outdoors.
"Particularly if you're vaccinated, but you can get out there. You're outdoors for the most part — at least when my children were out there doing trick-or-treating — and enjoy it," Fauci said on CNN's "State of the Union."
He added: "This is a time that children love. It's a very important part of the year for children. I know my children enjoyed it."
"Hopefully it's going to continue to go in that trajectory downward, but we have to just be careful that we don't prematurely declare victory in many respects," Dr. Anthony Fauci discusses the dip in daily Covid-19 cases. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/nVB3Ztl8zt
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 10, 2021
Fauci, President Biden's chief medical adviser, made the comments after CNN host Dana Bash asked for his guidance to parents who are concerned about staying safe while handing out candy and walking through their neighborhoods.
Although Fauci described trick-or-treating as a generally safe activity, he said it would be even safer if people get vaccinated first.
"If you're not vaccinated — again, think about it, that you'll add an extra degree of protection to yourself and your children and your family and your community. So it's a good time to reflect on why it's important to get vaccinated," he said.
"But go out there and enjoy Halloween, as well as the other holidays that will be coming up."
Fauci’s advice last year for winter holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, when people frequently travel and spend time indoors with large groups, rankled some of his critics. Widespread vaccinations have mitigated some of the risk as the same holidays approach again.
In the same interview, Fauci also expressed optimism about the direction of the coronavirus emergency in the U.S.
Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all declining, raising the possibility that the pandemic could become more endemic — a less disruptive threat that would allow life to increasingly return to normal. But the tens of millions of people who have not yet been vaccinated threaten that prospect as winter approaches, he suggested.
"It is certainly going in the right direction," Fauci said Sunday. "That's the good news. And hopefully it's going to continue to go in that trajectory downward. But we have to just be careful that we don't prematurely declare victory in many respects.”
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