Dr. Fauci addressed the latest CDC guidelines for summer camp, noting that they’re “based on science”
As President Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci has no doubt been a guiding light since the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic and through the transition from an anti-science, anti-truth administration to where we are today, with deaths and hospitalizations continuing to decrease as vaccines become more widely available to Americans.
In a new interview with TODAY co-host Savannah Guthrie, Fauci opened up about the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding summer camps, as camp programs across the country prepare to welcome students back for in-person warm-weather activities.
The organization currently recommends that the same guidelines followed for in-person schooling adhere to summer camps, which means continued social distancing of at least three feet apart per student and staffer, and masks worn at all times except during meals and swimming, at which time distancing guidelines are recommended at six feet instead of three.
During their chat, Guthrie asked Fauci if he thought the guidelines were “excessive,” given that they appear to be at odds with the agency’s latest outdoor mask recommendations, which note that fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear a mask outside unless they’re in a crowd or at a large event, such as a sporting event, concert, parade, or similar.
Guthrie pointed out the evidence that COVID transmission outside is low among fully vaccinated people, and that children appear to be at a lower risk overall of experiencing serious illness from the virus.
“I wouldn’t call them excessive, but they certainly are conservative,” Fauci said. “And I think what you’re going to start to see is really in real time, continually reevaluating that for its practicality. Because you’re right, people look at that and they say, ‘Well is that being a little bit too far right now?'”
And when Guthrie pressed on the practicality of “little kids outside in 90 degree heat running around in masks,” Fauci pointed out that — much like every other aspect of the ever-changing pandemic guidelines — health officials will continue to examine the bridge between risk and habits, especially as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to approve use of the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents 12 to 15 years old soon.
“The CDC makes decisions based on science, they will continually reevaluate that. You’re right, it looks a bit strict, a bit stringent, but that’s the reason why they keep looking at that and trying to reevaluate literally in real time whether or not that’s the practical way to go.”
It’s also worth pointing out that news outlets have taken Fauci’s statements out of context, and that he called them “conservative,” not strict. He admitted that they might “look a bit strict, a bit stringent,” but did note that, like every other guideline so far, the summer camp suggestions are likely to adapt and change “in real time.” The TL:DR here — there’s no need to panic, because risk levels are constantly being looked at and adjusted accordingly.