Fauci news – live: ‘Moron’ spat senator re-ups disclosure conspiracy as Rand Paul dismisses threats to doctor – The Independent

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Dr Anthony Fauci has defended remarks made on Tuesday following a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director was heard calling Mr Marshall “a moron” when the senator questioned if he should have a publicly available financial disclosure form.
Dr Fauci told MSNBC on Wednesday that he was stunned to know “that a sitting United States senator doesn’t realise that my financial statement is public knowledge”.
The infectious diseases expert also clashed with Senator Rand Paul during the hearing, who he accused of politicising the pandemic and “kindling the crazies” with his remarks. Dr Paul has since doubled down on his remarks.
Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, also appeared before lawmakers to answer questions on the US response to new variants of Covid-19.
The hearing comes as health policymakers say they believe the administration needs an urgent reset in the way it is approaching the new realities of the pandemic, although Dr Fauci has suggested that the US was on the “threshold” of Covid-19 becoming endemic.
At a speech on Tuesday, he said the Omicron variant “with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody”.
The US on Wednesday hit out at China and warned it would take action against the country for cancelling flights originating from the US due to the increasing number of passengers testing positive for Covid-19 in recent weeks.
In a statement, the US Transportation Department said: “China’s actions are inconsistent with its obligations under the US-China Air Transport Agreement. We are engaging with the (Chinese government) on this and we retain the right to take regulatory measures as appropriate.”
The statement came after Beijing cancelled six more flights from the US to China on Wednesday.
A total of 70 flights have been cancelled this year alone between the two countries.
Last week Airlines for America, which represents the largest US passenger and cargo carriers, said it was discussing the issue of flight cancellations with US and Chinese officials.
China has imposed strict border restrictions and cut down international flights in a bid to stop spread of the pandemic.
Dozens of flights from the US to China have been cancelled in recent weeks
Former president Donald Trump has endorsed booster shots and hit out at politicians who won’t disclose whether they got booster shots, calling them “gutless”.
In an interview on the conservative One America News Network on Tuesday Mr Trump said, “Well, I’ve taken it. I’ve had the booster.”
“I watched a couple of politicians be interviewed and one of the questions was, ‘Did you get the booster?’ …. And they, ‘Oh, oh,’ they’re answering it — like in other words, the answer is ‘Yes,’ but they don’t want to say it. Because they’re gutless.”
“You gotta say it. Whether you had it or not, say it,” Mr Trump added.
While Mr Trump did not name any politician, however, reports said that his comments were a veiled attack on Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who may be a possible Republican contender for 2024 and is known to not disclose whether he has received a booster shot.
The former president has changed his position on vaccines as he eyes a presidential run in 2024. A large part of his Republican base though remains opposed to vaccines.
Mr Trump recently admitted to taking a booster shot last month even as he was booed by his supporters. Tom Fenton reports
Donald Trump booed by own supporters after saying he got Covid booster vaccine
Officials across the U.S. are again weighing how and whether to impose mask mandates as COVID-19 infections soar and the American public grows ever wearier of pandemic-related restrictions.
Much of the debate centers around the nation’s schools, some of which have closed due to infection-related staffing issues. In a variety of places, mask mandates are being lifted or voted down.
Officials across the U.S. are again weighing how and whether to impose mask mandates as COVID-19 infections soar and the American public grows weary of pandemic-related restrictions
The White House has announced that it will double the volume of testing in schools across the US as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly across the country.
In a press release on Wednesday, the White House said that it will double testing in schools by 10 million per month “to increase access to Covid-19 testing”.
“With the additional ten million tests per month, we will make available to schools more than double the volume of testing that took place in schools across the nation in November 2021,” the statement said.
In a bid to keep schools open and safe from infections, the Biden administration has also announced a slew of measures to increase testing including sending federal testing units near schools and connecting schools with testing providers.
The White House said that the additional tests in schools “will help schools safely remain open and implement screening testing and test to stay programs.”
Pfizer Covid jab approved for use in vulnerable primary school children (Damien Storan/PA)
While the surge in cases in the US is being driven by the Omicron variant of Covid-19, a rise in hospitalisations and deaths is being driven by the Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a media briefing, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said: “The magnitude of this increase is largely related to the Omicron variant, which now represents about 90 per cent of the Covid-19 cases in the country.”
CDC data shows that in the last week Covid-19 hospitalisations have increased by 33 per cent while deaths have increased by 40 per cent.
Dr Walensky said that the rise in hospitalisations and deaths is “likely a lagging effect of the Delta variant, which was surging before Omicron took hold in the United States in December.”
“We may see deaths from Omicron but I suspect that the deaths we are seeing now are still from Delta,” she added.
The number of daily hospitalisations has surpassed the previous record from January 2021, Tom Fenton reports
The number of daily hospitalisations has surpassed the previous record from January 2021
Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccines are 94 per cent effective in preventing hospitalisations among adolescents, a new study has found.
The study conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) along with 31 hospitals across 23 states in the country included data on adolescents between the ages of 12 to 18 who had been hospitalised between 1 July and 25 October.
It analysed data from 445 adolescents hospitalised with Covid and 777 hospitalised without the disease.
“Despite eligibility for Covid-19 vaccination, 96 per cent of the patients who were hospitalised with Covid-19 and 99 per cent of those who received life support had not been fully vaccinated,” the researchers wrote in the study, reported CNN.
“We found that vaccination with two doses of the BNT162b2 mRNA (official name of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine) vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalisation from Covid-19 by 94 per cent among adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age in the United States,” the study said.
The study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
In this file photo from November 2021, a nurse holds a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
Donald Trump Jr has bemoaned Dr Anthony Fauci for being a “victim” after the infectious disease expert defended calling a Republican senator a “moron” and accused another of misinforming the public on Covid.
“Remember Lord Fauci is always the victim folks,” Mr Trump Jr tweeted on Tuesday, “No one else!”
Gino Spocchia has the story.
‘You’re just lab rats in his experiment!’
Not all those who get infected with Covid-19 will face severe illness, said Dr Anthony Fauci on Wednesday.
At a White House Covid-19 briefing, Dr Fauci clarified the statement made by US Food and Drug Administration Acting Commissioner Dr Janet Woodcock on Tuesday, where she had said that most people will get infected with Covid.
On Wednesday, Dr Fauci said, “What Dr Woodcock was referring to when she said most of us will ultimately get Omicron is not that most of us were ultimately going to get sick with Omicron.”
He added that while Covid can’t be eliminated it can be brought under control.
“If you control it in a way it’s at such a low level, and people are vaccinated and boosted, sooner or later, as we begin to live with it, what she was referring to is that virtually everybody is going to wind up getting exposed and likely get infected — but if you’re vaccinated and if you’re boosted, the chances of your getting sick are very, very low.”
“That’s what she was referring to,” he added.
Dr Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the President, gives an update on the Omicron variant during the daily press briefing at the White House on 1 December 2021
Dr Anthony Fauci said the US is approaching the “threshold” of living with Covid-19, with cases surging across the country.
The chief medical adviser to the president, while speaking at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Tuesday, said almost everyone will be exposed to the highly-contagious Omicron variant but the vaccinated will fare better.
“Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody,” he said.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar reports.
Fauci says US may be on ‘threshold’ of living with Covid
United Airlines is canceling more flights after thousands of the company’s workers called out sick with the coronavirus.
Nathan Place reports.
United CEO Scott Kirby says the airline is ‘reducing our near-term schedules to make sure we have the staffing and resources to take care of customers’
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Anthony Fauci has long been the target of attacks from conservatives
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