Some social media users are sharing a video of top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN journalist Anderson Cooper discussing immunity after recovering from COVID-19 versus receiving the vaccine. The users imply that Fauci is lying or downplaying the protection offered from infection.
Comments on the posts include: “Fauci knows the truth he just doesn’t want to say it because it will ruin the left’s narrative”, “He’s Dr. Fraudci #firefauci”, and “Politicians pushing the jab can’t make money off our immune systems, so they shove medications in our faces”.
The posts show a clip, visible here , from a CNN broadcast of Fauci, Gupta and Cooper discussing protection after recovering from COVID-19.
At the 2:20 timestamp, Gupta said that an Israeli study found that natural immunity provided great protection.
He continued to say: “So, as we talk about vaccine mandates, 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?”
Fauci responded: “You know, that’s a really good point Sanjay. I don’t have a really firm answer for you on that. That’s something that we’re going to have to discuss regarding the durability of the response. The one thing the paper from Israel didn’t tell you is whether or not as high as the protection is with natural infection, what’s the durability compared to the durability of the vaccine.”
“So it is conceivable that you got infected, you’re protected, but you may not be protected for an indefinite amount of time,” Fauci said. “So, I think that is something that we need to sit down and discuss seriously because you very appropriately pointed out, it is an issue and there could be an argument saying what you said.”
It is clear from the longer version of the clip that Fauci gives credence to the idea that infection could offer significant natural protection. The concern he highlights is that it is still unclear how long that protection lasts.
A study by the CDC here examining COVID-19 cases in Kentucky among those previously infected found that unvaccinated people were twice as likely to be reinfected as those who were vaccinated after being infected.
“These data further indicate that COVID-19 vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity alone and that vaccines, even after prior infection, help prevent reinfections,” the CDC explains.
Missing context. A longer version of the clip shows Fauci gives credence to the idea of natural immunity, but that he has concerns about its durability. The CDC recommends vaccination regardless of previous infection.
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