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Dec. 16, 2020, 6:51 a.m. EST

Dr. Fauci: For security reasons, Biden and Harris should receive COVID-19 vaccine ‘as soon as we possibly can’

‘You still want to protect people who are very important to our country right now,’ said Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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By Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch


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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned of a potential surge of coronavirus after Christmas and Hanukkah: ‘This may be even more compounded because it’s a longer holiday.’

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris should be vaccinated as soon as possible.

“For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can,” he told ABC’s /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS +0.06%  “Good Morning America.”

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the past three decades, added that President Trump should get vaccinated, even though he likely still has the antibodies from when he tested positive for coronavirus.

‘For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can.’

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

He said Vice President Mike Pence should also be vaccinated. “You still want to protect people who are very important to our country right now,” Fauci said.

As of Wednesday, 73.6 million people worldwide had contracted COVID-19 and 1.6 million people had died. The U.S. had 16.7 million cases and 303,867 fatalities, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

As hospitals await an increase in cases after Thanksgiving, Fauci said last week that, “For the first time in more than 30 years, I’m not spending the Christmas holidays with my daughters.”

(Fauci had said much the same in October, with Thanksgiving on the horizon, about gathering only on Zoom /zigman2/quotes/211319643/composite ZM +3.58%  with family, aside from his wife of 35 years.)

The post-Thanksgiving case increase is expected to happen right before “the Christmas, Hanukkah potential surge,” he said.

Fauci told CNN that Americans are facing a “critical time” and the next potential surge over the holidays could lead to a dark January, “This may be even more compounded because it’s a longer holiday,” he said.

In a video appearance with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week, he added, “could be a really dark time for us.”

‘We could start to see things start to get really bad in the middle of January, not only for New York state but for any state or city.’

Dr. Fauci

Dr. Thomas Russo, the chief of infectious diseases at the University at Buffalo, told WGRZ-TV earlier this month that an increase in “bad outcomes” after Thanksgiving may take four to six weeks.

The U.S. set a record for COVID-19-related hospitalizations this month with more than 110,000 patients . The number of people with the virus in ICUs has surpassed 21,200.

The New York Times reported Dec. 9 that hospitals serving more than 100 million Americans had under 15% of ICU beds still available as of the previous week.

Risk factors to consider before attending a gathering include local community spread of COVID-19; exposure during travel; the location and duration of the gathering, and whether it’s indoors; the number of attendees and capacity for physical distancing; and attendees’ preventive behaviors before and during the gathering, such as mask wearing.

Coronavirus Update: U.S. suffers deadliest week from coronavirus since pandemic broke out

Dispatches From a Pandemic: It’s 2:30 a.m. in Wyoming: ‘You’re holding a smartphone to let a husband say goodbye to his wife via FaceTime after 60 years of marriage’

There has been progress on vaccines. BioNTech SE /zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite BNTX +2.36% and Pfizer /zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite PFE -2.37% said a final analysis of their vaccine candidate showed 95% efficacy. Meanwhile, Moderna /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA -1.73%  said its vaccine candidate was 94.5% effective.  

A vaccine candidate from AstraZeneca /zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite AZN -3.60%  and the University of Oxford is safe and effective and showed an average efficacy of 70% in a pooled analysis of interim data, according to a peer-reviewed study published Tuesday.

Shares of Sanofi /zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite SNY -0.78%  fell Friday after the French drug company said the COVID-19 vaccine treatment it is developing with U.K. pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline /zigman2/quotes/209463850/composite GSK -1.60%  has been delayed due to insufficient immune response in the elderly.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.29% , the S&P 500 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.28%  and the Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.63% closed up Tuesday. Reports of a possible compromise between lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle on a new COVID-19-related stimulus bill, and progress with vaccines have helped stocks make gains in recent weeks.

/zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 137.46
+0.08 +0.06%
Volume: 31.52M
Jan. 24, 2022 4:02p
P/E Ratio
126.05
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$250.10 billion
Rev. per Employee
$354,668
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/zigman2/quotes/211319643/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 152.95
+5.29 +3.58%
Volume: 8.24M
Jan. 24, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
40.69
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$44.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
$884,435
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/zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 150.98
+3.48 +2.36%
Volume: 5.82M
Jan. 24, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
4.36
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$35.77 billion
Rev. per Employee
$8.48M
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/zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 51.54
-1.25 -2.37%
Volume: 59.08M
Jan. 24, 2022 4:02p
P/E Ratio
15.30
Dividend Yield
3.10%
Market Cap
$296.30 billion
Rev. per Employee
$883,274
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/zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 157.30
-2.77 -1.73%
Volume: 16.64M
Jan. 24, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
9.66
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$64.90 billion
Rev. per Employee
$9.10M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 56.97
-2.13 -3.60%
Volume: 10.42M
Jan. 24, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
89.91
Dividend Yield
2.40%
Market Cap
$183.80 billion
Rev. per Employee
$452,181
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 50.84
-0.40 -0.78%
Volume: 2.11M
Jan. 24, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
18.51
Dividend Yield
2.69%
Market Cap
$129.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
$434,064
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209463850/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 44.38
-0.72 -1.60%
Volume: 9.00M
Jan. 24, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
18.89
Dividend Yield
4.51%
Market Cap
$111.81 billion
Rev. per Employee
$484,678
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
34,364.50
+99.13 +0.29%
Volume: 678.12M
Jan. 24, 2022 5:04p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
4,410.13
+12.19 +0.28%
Volume: 3.89B
Jan. 24, 2022 5:04p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime
US : Nasdaq
13,855.13
+86.21 +0.63%
Volume: 5.82M
Jan. 24, 2022 5:16p
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Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch's personal-finance editor and The Moneyist columnist for MarketWatch. You can follow him on Twitter @quantanamo.

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