Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested on Friday that President Biden’s sweeping new vaccine mandate for private businesses is a “moderate” measure. Critics are calling it unconstitutional and strategically ill-advised.
During an appearance on CNN, Fauci argued that “the president is being somewhat moderate in his demand, if you want to call it that. There are some people who really don’t want to get vaccinated but they really don’t want to lose their job. You’ve got to give them an off lane. And the off-lane is that if you get tested frequently enough and find out you’re positive you won’t come to work and you won’t infect other people.”
While Fauci believes Biden’s edict to be reasonable, over a dozen Republican governors have condemned it as an egregious attack on individual liberty, vowing to defy and fight it in court.
There were also prudential — though not legal — objections to Biden’s imposition of vaccine requirements for federal workers, who had previously been able to submit to weekly testing before Thursday’s announcement, but now will be allowed no such alternative to getting the vaccine.
Biden’s mandate has sparked renewed debate over the merits of vaccination for those who already recovered from prior COVID infection, given the proliferation of recent studies showing that the natural antibodies protect against a future case potentially as well as inoculation.
Fauci was confronted with this question during a separate CNN appearance Friday, in which the network’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta raised the argument of those who had already survived COVID, and therefore had a built in immunity to the virus, against vaccination.
“I get calls all the time people say ‘I’ve already had COVID, I’m protected.’ And now the study says maybe even more protected than the vaccine alone. Should they also get the vaccine? How do you make the case to them?,” Gupta asked.
“That’s a really good point…I don’t really have a firm answer for you on that,” Fauci admitted.