Dr. Anthony Fauci went on CNN’s State of the Union show Sunday morning and defended his herd immunity projections as “guesstimates” after host Dana Bash pressed him on why he wasn’t honest with Americans from the start and why the guesstimates were based on polling. Last week, Fauci told the New York Times that 90% of Americans would need to be infected or vaccinated before the country could achieve herd immunity.
That guesstimate was up from previous projections Fauci had made. “The calculations that I made 70, 75 percent, it’s a range. The range is going to be somewhere between 70 and 85 percent,” Fauci told Bash.
The New York Times quoted Fauci on December 24 as saying several different numbers to achieve herd immunity.
“When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent,” Dr. Fauci said. “Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.”
.@DanaBashCNN asks Dr. Fauci about his “moving the goal posts” on herd immunity.
"Why weren’t you straight with the American people about this to begin with?”
He answers that it was just a“guesstimate." pic.twitter.com/TecbIMKzfs
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 28, 2020
“We need to have some humility here,” he added. “We really don’t know what the real number is. I think the real range is somewhere between 70 to 90 percent. But, I’m not going to say 90 percent.”
Fauci also said on “State of the Union” that he agrees with President-elect Biden that our darkest COVID days are still ahead. Fauci is warning of a “surge upon a surge” and a “post-seasonal surge” brought on by Christmas travel.
.@DanaBashCNN presses Dr. Fauci on his comments about “moving the goal posts” on herd immunity based on polling. "Why weren’t you straight with the American people about this to begin with?” she asks.
He deflects multiple times. She presses and he says it’s just a “guesstimate." pic.twitter.com/kquQvlwZ8j
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) December 27, 2020