Fauci issues stern warning over New Year’s parties

White House’s Covid-19 guru says Americans should stay away from big holiday bashes

White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has broken the bad news to Americans awaiting his guidance on New Year’s Eve parties, saying they should again forego large gatherings because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“When you are talking about a New Year’s Eve party, where you have 30, 40, 50 people celebrating, you do not know the status of their vaccination — I would recommend strongly, stay away from that this year,” Fauci said on Monday in a CNN interview. “There will be other years to do that, but not this year.”

The warning marked the latest call for caution from President Joe Biden’s administration amid the rapid spread of Covid-19’s Omicron variant. Less than one month after first being identified in South Africa, the new strain became the dominant source of new Covid-19 infections in the US. Biden said earlier this month that with Omicron’s emergence, “we are looking at a winter of severe illness and death” for unvaccinated Americans.

Like Fauci, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker sounded the alarm over New Year’s Eve celebrations on Monday. “Omicron and Delta are coming to your party,” he said. “You need to think twice about how many people will be gathered together and social distancing. If you’re at a party and you can’t, leave.

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Fauci gave his seal of approval for in-home gatherings with family members who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and have received booster shots.

The White House advisor also opined about former President Donald Trump’s recent endorsement of the Covid-19 booster shots that has drawn conservative pushback.

Noting that he was “stunned” by Trump’s decision to promote the vaccination against Covid-19 as well as by the backlash the ex-president received for this endeavor, Fauci accused Trump of “poisoning the well early on” by not rallying behind the vaccination campaign from the get-go.

“Some of the people that have been following his every word and what he does are now pushing back and not listening, which really tells you the strength of the divisiveness in our society.”

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