WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said he wouldn't get on a plane and is not eating at restaurants amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
When asked if he would board a trans-Atlantic flight during a recent interview with MarketWatch, Fauci said while he doesn't like to admit it, but he's 79 years old and is in a risk category.
"I spend half a day in my office trying to develop a vaccine and drugs for COVID-19, and that’s really what I need to do," Fauci told MarketWatch. "I don’t fancy seeing myself getting infected, which is a risk when you’re getting on a plane, particularly with the amount of infection that’s going on right now."
Another concern for Fauci is eating out. As restaurants begin to open up across the country, Fauci said he is not eating out but recommends eating outdoors if possible.
"Indoors is much worse than outdoors. If you’re going to go to a restaurant, try as best as you can to have outdoor seating that is properly spaced between the tables," Fauci said.
Fauci, who serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has become one of the most trusted voices in the federal government's handling of the coronavirus. In a recent Morning Consult/Politico poll, 62% of voters rated Fauci's handling of the virus as either "excellent" or "good," compared to the 36% who say the same of President Donald Trump.
Trump has been promoting vaccines and therapeutics daily in his renewed daily coronavirus news briefings. While both the president and Fauci are optimistic that we will have a vaccine late this year or early next year, Fauci said they are working on prioritizing who will get the vaccine first.
"We’re going to put a group together of ethicists, clinicians, vaccinologists and community representatives, and make a prioritization of who should get it when the first doses become available," Fauci said.
"Generally, with most vaccines, you tend to give a high priority to frontline workers: Hospital emergency-room people, those maintaining order in society, and people who are more vulnerable to the deleterious and serious effects associated with infections — the elderly and those with underlying conditions."
Also in the interview, Fauci questioned the effectiveness of taking temperatures before entering a space.
"I’m not sure taking temperatures is all it’s cracked up to be, because there are a lot of false negatives and false positives. It’s best to just question people: 'Do you have any symptoms? Have you been near someone who is infected?' The time spent asking a couple of simple questions is probably more effective than just taking temperatures, to be honest with you."