During an interview with Fox News Sunday, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins told host Chris Wallace unvaccinated Americans are responsible for the uptick in COVID cases in the country, as are those who object to adults or children wearing a mask, which he described as a “life-saving medical device.”
Meanwhile, Collins dismissed as a “distraction” the fact that many illegal aliens with COVID are coming across the border into the United States.
“I will be surprised if we don’t cross 200,000 cases a day in the next couple of weeks,” Collins told Wallace Sunday. “But here we are with the Delta variant, which is so contagious, and this heartbreaking situation where 90 million people are still unvaccinated who are sitting ducks for this virus, and that’s the mess we’re in.”
“We are also seeing a sharp rise in the number of pediatric cases, both unvaccinated kids and vaccinated kids who are getting COVID from this new Delta variant,” Wallace said. “How bad could that spike in pediatric cases get?”
That’s very worrisome. I think traditionally people kind of considered, well, you know, kids aren’t going to get that sick with this. More than 400 children have died of COVID-19. And right now, we have almost 2,000 kids in the hospital, many of them in ICU, some of them under the age of four. So, anybody who tries to tell you, well, don’t worry about the kids, the virus won’t really bother them, that’s not the evidence.
Asked “how strong” the case is for children to wear masks in school to mitigate against the Delta variant, Collins replied, “Chris, it’s very strong.”
“Go to the CDC website,” he urged. “You’ll see more than a dozen publications showing that evidence.”
“And already you can see in this country the schools that have started to open without mask requirements, outbreaks are happening,” Collins continued. “And what happens then? The kids are sent home for virtual learning, which is what we were trying to avoid. It’s really unfortunate that politics and polarization have got in the way of a simple public health measure.”
Following a clip of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) at a press conference asserting parents’ right to choose whether their children wear masks, Collins then held up a commonplace mask.
“This mask that I’m holding has somehow become a symbol that it never should have been,” he said. “This is basically just a life-saving medical device. And somehow it’s now being seen as an invasion of your personal liberty.”
Collins continued to rant against those who view mask mandates as a violation of their personal liberty.
“We never should have gone there,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking for me as a person who’s not a politician – I’m a scientist, I’m a public health person, I’m a doctor – to see how masks have gotten into this very strange place with parents and others shouting about it. We never should have allowed that to happen.”
The NIH director criticized what he views as “politics,” “social media conspiracies,” and “this incredible depth of anger and grievance that seems to be held by so many” who, presumably, are not complying with vaccinations and mask-wearing.
“If I have one thing I’m worried about, it’s not just the epidemic of COVID- 19,” he said. “It’s the epidemic of misinformation, disinformation, distrust, that is tearing us apart.”
In a recent interview, however, internist, cardiologist, and epidemiologist Dr. Peter McCullough observed the Delta variant is “spread and contracted equally by those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated.”
Appearing on America First with host Sebastian Gorka, Ph.D., McCullough said the Delta variant “is not more serious in children – it’s very mild, it’s like a cold.”
“If children do have severe symptoms, they should be treated early to prevent hospitalization and death,” he asserted.
McCullough responded regarding whether mask mandates are necessary:
The virus is only spread from symptomatic person to another person, so asymptomatic spread is negligible. Even the World Health Organization, as of June 25th, says just stop asymptomatic testing. It’s only symptomatic people who spread it to others. So, we need actually good rules at school to remove sick kids and not have sick kids come to school. That’s the most important thing, not masks.
McCullough added the virus “is about one micron in size; the masks filter out three microns, so the virus moves easily through masks.”
“That’s one of the reasons why they don’t work,” he said. “Public masking doesn’t have any support in scientific literature.”
Regarding children wearing masks for entire days at school, McCullough said there has been no precedent for such a requirement, but added he consulted with a child psychiatrist who said young children, especially, need to see facial expressions to learn how to form words.
In response to Wallace’s question about the possibility of booster shots for those already vaccinated, Collins said, “We have not made that decision yet because right now the data we have from the U.S. says people who are vaccinated are fully protected, even against Delta.”
“When you’re talking about severe disease, you’re not going to end up in the hospital if you have that vaccination,” he asserted.
“Of course, the big message right now … for the people who aren’t vaccinated, this is the moment to absolutely get off the fence and take care of this because you are a sitting duck for this virus,” he said. “It’s looking for you.”
However, when Wallace asked Collins whether the “over 10 percent” positivity rate for COVID among some of the illegal aliens is responsible for spreading the virus throughout the country, the NIH director initially admitted “it’s certainly a cause of concern,” but then touted the illegals are given “significant masking requirements.”
“But, you know, let nobody try to say that’s why the U.S. is in trouble,” he ultimately said, dismissing that issue.
“I think that’s a bit of a distraction,” he said. “We’ve got enough of a problem with our own citizens who have refused to roll up their sleeves.”
President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci also expressed scorn for Americans with concerns about their personal liberties on Sunday during an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation.
When asked how the federal government is helping “the very dire situation in the South” of the United States, Fauci responded the government is sending “surge teams,” composed of people from FEMA and the CDC, to assist in setting up treatment “such as monoclonal antibodies that help with the hospital situation.”
Fauci, however, then dismissed these issues, stating, “All of this is entirely predictable, and, yet, on the other hand, entirely preventable.”
“We’ve got to get people vaccinated,” he insisted. “We have about 90 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated, who are not vaccinated.”
In addition to pushing shots for all Americans, Fauci said “mitigation” is essential, including mandated vaccines and mask-wearing.
“Right now, we are fortunate … that the vaccines we have are quite good against the Delta variant, particularly with regard to preventing severe disease, hospitalizations, and deaths,” he said, adding that while some “breakthrough cases” are occurring in those who have had the shots, those who are getting “seriously ill” are the unvaccinated.
“Put aside all of these issues of concern about liberties and personal liberties and realize we have a common enemy and that common enemy is the virus,” Fauci said.
McCullough, however, told Gorka the historic move to mandate vaccines and masks looks to be “backfiring.”
“Right now, in Israel, Singapore, and Iceland more than 75 percent of all COVID-19 cases are in those who have been vaccinated,” he noted, adding that in the UK, of the 300,000 Delta variant cases, 50 percent have been in partially or fully vaccinated individuals.
Of those who have died in the UK, 65 percent were vaccinated.
“So, it looks like the vaccine has no effect against the Delta variant,” he said.
McCullough stated that, if asked, he would have advised that safe and effective vaccines should only have been administered to the highest risk seniors and perhaps nursing home staff.