Dr. Fauci Says the Government Won't Make These 2 Things Mandatory
Can you be forced to do these two things to fight COVID? Dr. Anthony Fauci says it's not likely.
A lot of discussion surrounding the precautions suggested to stop the spread of the coronavirus has centered around personal freedoms. Some Americans have steadfastly rejected the idea that there are measures they must take to stop COVID-19, despite recommendations from the nation's top medical experts. For example, throughout the pandemic, Anthony Fauci, MD, has urged Americans to adopt six basic rules to stop the spread of the virus: avoid crowds, don't go to bars, wash your hands, keep gatherings outdoors, maintain social distance, and wear a mask. But despite his recommendations, Fauci recently revealed that certain safety measures will never be mandatory nationwide. Specifically, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said he doesn't expect to see a mask mandate or a vaccine mandate anytime soon.
In an interview on Aug. 18 with Healthline, Fauci was asked if he thinks the government would ever make a COVID vaccine mandatory for all Americans. "I don't think you'll ever see a mandating of vaccines, particularly for the general public," he said. However, he did explain that some healthcare workers might need to get vaccinated, based on their workplace's guidelines.
"I'd pretty be surprised if you mandated it for any element of the general public," he concluded.
E. Hanh Le, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Healthline Media, asked whether or not the government has a contingency plan for Americans who refuse to get vaccinated, but Fauci said those people "have every right to refuse the vaccine."
"I don't think you need a contingency plan. If someone refuses the vaccine in the general public, then there's nothing you can do about that," he said. "You cannot force someone to take a vaccine."
In a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, researchers found that 60 percent of Americans say they will get a coronavirus vaccine if and when it becomes available, while 35 percent say they won't and 5 percent were undecided. Another recent Gallup poll yielded similar results, with one in three Americans saying they would not get a COVID-19 vaccine right now, even if it was free and approved by the FDA.
In an interview with Bloomberg's QuickTake, also on Aug. 18, reporter Madison Mills asked Fauci about the possibility of another federal mandate—this time, for masks. Though he said he wishes it were possible, he doesn't foresee that happening either. "I don't think that's going to occur, Madison, because, you know, there's a reluctance to have federal mandates for so many reasons. Would it have people actually push back against it? How do you enforce? I mean, I, as a public health person and as a physician and a scientist, would strongly, strongly encourage people anywhere and everywhere in our country to understand the importance of mask wearing," he said. "It's critical. It's not something that's going to prevent us from ultimately opening to the fullest—it's gonna get us there."
When Mills noted that the government has many federal mandates it manages to enforce, Fauci said, "It isn't like I don't think we should do it. I'm just telling you it's not gonna happen. I mean, that's the point. We could talk back and forth about all the advantages or what have you for it, I just don't think it's gonna happen." And for more advice from Fauci, check out Dr. Fauci Wants You to Avoid Doing These 9 Things Right Now.