Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and chief medical advisor to President Biden, tested positive for COVID-19, his office said at the weekend.
This is the first time Fauci, who is quadruple-vaxxed against COVID-19, has announced he’s tested positive for the virus.
The NIAID confirmed Fauci received four COVID-19 vaccine doses, including two boosters.
Despite testing positive, Fauci testified remotely during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, where he was grilled about the federal response to the pandemic.
“Our current vaccines have maintained their effectiveness for preventing severe COVID-19,” Fauci said, referring to the Omicron variant during his opening statement. “Individuals who have received only their primary vaccine regimen have a greater likelihood of getting infected with the Omicron variant than with previous variants.”
“Importantly, booster shots have been shown to significantly reconstitute and enhance the level of antibodies that neutralize the Omicron variant and in sub-lineages,” he added.
In May 2021, in an interview on MSNBC, Fauci said people who got vaccinated would not get infected.
“The situation is so clear, the data affirm if you get vaccinated you are protected, even with the Delta variant — which by the way has a greater capacity to spread from person to person — and when you’re infected it has a greater likelihood of giving you serious disease. We know that as a fact.”
“It’s as simple as black and white,” Fauci said. “You’re vaccinated, you’re safe. You’re unvaccinated, you’re at risk. Simple as that.”
According to Pfizer’s high-risk and standard-risk clinical trials, vaccinated individuals who received a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine within 12 months of screening were excluded from clinical trials that assessed the safety and efficacy of the drug.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on May 24 issued a health advisory to people taking Pfizer’s Paxlovid. Walensky warned the drug could lead to a rebound in COVID-19 symptoms, but claimed the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks.
“If you take Paxlovid, you might get symptoms again,” Walensky told CBS News. “We haven’t yet seen anybody who has returned with symptoms needing to go to the hospital. So, generally, a milder course.”