Health

Fauci Cautions Against Dropping Restrictions

By contrast, about 23 percent of Black Americans said they would not get the vaccine; as did 23 percent of white Americans and 20 percent of Hispanic Americans, the poll indicated.

On the network’s “Face The Nation” program, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, who heads a new federal task force on health equity, called the polling results “great news.” “You see vaccine confidence growing in all groups around the country,” Dr. Nunez-Smith said. “It is very promising.”

Even so, polarized attitudes aligned with political affiliation have stiffened: About 71 percent of Democrats said they had been vaccinated or would get shots, while only 47 percent of Republicans said the same. One-third of Republicans said they would say no to the vaccine, compared with only 10 percent of Democrats.

Dr. Fauci said he was perplexed and troubled by the partisan trend. “It makes absolutely no sense,” he said. “We’ve got to dissociate political persuasion from what’s common sense, no-brainer public health things.”

On “Fox News Sunday,” Dr. Fauci was asked about a public-service message on vaccination that included other former presidents but not Donald J. Trump. He was then asked whether Mr. Trump, who was quietly vaccinated in January before leaving office, should publicly endorse immunization.

“I think it would make all the difference in the world,” Dr. Fauci said, adding: “He’s a very widely popular person among Republicans. If he came out and said, go and get vaccinated, it’s really important for your health, the health of your family and the health of the country, it seems absolutely inevitable that the vast majority of people who are his close followers would listen to him.”

In an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando on Feb. 28, Mr. Trump did say, “Everyone should go get your shot,” but that message was largely overlooked by the former president’s characteristic focus on divisive political matters.


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