Dr. Anthony Fauci has drawn widespread criticism for his shifting advice over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
His latest reversal comes just a day after he declared it was “too soon to tell” whether it would be safe to celebrate the upcoming holiday season in person with friends and family.
“Particularly the vaccinated people”
During an interview on Monday, Fauci retracted his earlier statement and insisted that it had been misinterpreted.
In reality, the top White House medical adviser told Americans to enjoy a “normal” Christmas holiday.
The previous day, he said it was uncertain whether people should be prepared to once again cancel their plans. Now, he says he will be spending Christmas with his loved ones and encourages Americans — “particularly the vaccinated people” — to do the same.
“That was misinterpreted as my saying we can’t spend Christmas with our families, which was absolutely not the case,” Fauci said. “I will be spending Christmas with my family, I encourage people, particularly the vaccinated people who are protected, to have a good, normal Christmas with your family.”
His initial comments were widely interpreted as a sign that he would not advocate loosened restrictions even as COVID-19 approaches its second full year of global transmission.
Fauci blames disinformation
Another issue addressed during his Sunday interview was the claim that undocumented immigrants are responsible for at least some of the viral spread within the United States, which Fauci declared was “absolutely not” happening.
Despite the backlash, Fauci enjoys the support of a large base of partisans who view him as a benevolent public servant.
His apparent inability to admit fault has not helped him expand on that support, however. Although he amended his position on Christmas, he sought to gloss over the contradiction for his disparate statements and vaguely blamed “disinformation” for the reaction to his earlier remarks.
Fauci attempted to dismiss concerns about canceling Christmas plans as “nonsense,” which is how many of his critics would describe just about everything that comes out of his mouth.