In an interview on CNN’s The Lead, hosted by Jake Tapper, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that American children still need to mask up until they get a coronavirus vaccine, despite the almost statistically non-existent risk to children from the COVID-19 virus.
Tapper asked Fauci, "What is your message to parents who are out there thinking, 'well, I'm vaccinated. My kids are not, but the odds of them getting the virus are very, very low. Would you tell them? No, no, no. The kids still need to wear a mask?'"
Fauci responded, "The children do when they're out there playing with their friends… in particularly in an enclosed situation, they do, but you know, one of the things that's also important that's happened most recently is the approval of vaccines for children, 12 to 15 years old."
Fauci then discussed the plan for vaccinating children of all ages. "We are also doing studies now in an age de-escalation from 12 to nine, nine to six, six to two, and then six months to two years. So that we'll be able to, hopefully by the end of the year, to be able to vaccinate children of any age."
Fauci then reminded the audience that some children are eligible for the vaccine now throughout the US. "Right now, the 12 to 15-year-olds are eligible to get vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. So that's another good news story in all this."
Tapper then asked Fauci about vaccine passports. "So more than 40 percent of adults, we should note still are not fully vaccinated. Some are partially, but not fully. There's no real way right now to track who's vaccinated, who isn't vaccinated. There's a lot of resistance to any sort of vaccine passport."
Tapper appeared to catch himself in implying that Americans were legally required to wear masks and advocating for the vaccine passports. "How are restaurants, airlines, others supposed to know if the people coming to their establishments or their vehicle without masks, really have the right to not, well, we all have a right to do whatever we want, but really have the CDC guidance supporting, them not wearing masks."
Fauci responded, "Well, Jake, they will not be able to know. I mean, you're going to be, depending on people being honest enough to say whether they were vaccinated or not, and responsible enough to be wearing a vaccine, excuse me, a, a mask, not only for their own protection, but also for the protection of others."
Fauci then reiterated that the federal government will not be mandating vaccine passports. "Even though we will not be, and we've said this many times, Jake, we will not be mandating vaccine passports from the federal level, there are going to be institutions clearly that are going to be saying, and that could be airlines, we know certain colleges are also saying, if you're not vaccinated, you're not going to come on campus to classes in real time And they're going to be some institutions that might be saying the same thing. So, although the federal government wouldn't be mandating to have a passport proving you're vaccinated, there may be organizations that will do that."