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Fauci thinks herd immunity 'doesn't really apply' to COVID, Biden chief of staff says

What he’s [Fauci] advised us is that it’s probably a phrase that doesn’t really apply here to this particular virus and this circumstance," the White House chief of staff said.

Updated: May 5, 2021 - 5:19pm

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White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain say the administration's chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, has warned officials that "herd immunity" is likely a phrase that doesn't apply to COVID-19. 

While all have been encouraged to get the vaccine in order to create herd immunity, the goal of a communal protection to the virus has been faded by the nation's health leaders.

“Is herd immunity still the goal of the administration? Because, as you know, Dr. Fauci, among others, have sort of backed away from using that term as a benchmark," asked CNN host Anderson Cooper asked Klain on Tuesday.

“I think that I’ll let Dr. Fauci comment obviously on the science of that" Klain replied. "What he’s advised us is that it’s probably a phrase that doesn’t really apply here to this particular virus and this circumstance. Our goal, as you noted, Anderson, is to get to 70% of the country with one shot, 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4."

Herd immunity is essential when enough people either get vaccinated or contract the virus that it has no place to spread.

Klain said if the administration is successful in vaccinating 160 million Americans that the number of cases and deaths should be down significantly. However, the idea of herd immunity appears to be off the table within the administration.

Previously, Fauci has said that herd immunity would be possible after children get vaccinated, predicting a built-up immunity possibly by the end of the summer and a “normality that is close to where we were before” by the end of the year. The infectious disease expert also said in December that the beginning stages of herd immunity could be achieved by late spring or early summer. 

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