Dr. Anthony Fauci declared last week that people hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine should "give up" their individual freedoms "for the greater good of society."
What did Fauci say?
After delivering a lecture via livestream at McGill University, which is located in Montreal, Fauci fielded several questions. One question asked Fauci how to approach "the value of individual freedom within the context of this global pandemic."
First, Fauci took the opportunity to bash Fox News and other right-leaning media outlets. Then, he bashed individual freedom, framing vaccination as one's responsibility toward others.
"I think what people have to appreciate, that indeed you do have personal liberties for yourself and you should be in control of that," Fauci began. "But you are a member of society, and as a member of society, reaping all of the benefits of being a member of society, you have a responsibility to society." "I think each of us, particularly in the context of a pandemic that's killing millions of people, you have got to look at it and say, 'There comes a time when you do have to give up what you consider your individual right of making your own decision for the greater good of society,'" he explained. "There is no doubt that that's the case," Fauci added.
The importance of vaccination, Fauci later explained, is that unvaccinated people "inadvertently" and "innocently" transmit COVID-19 to people who are vulnerable to hospitalization or death. He compared living unvaccinated to a person recklessly driving 95 mph on a highway.
"If I get hurt, that's my problem. No! It's somebody who you might kill's problem, also," Fauci said.
Earlier in the interview, Fauci said people opposed to the vaccine need to be convinced to get vaccinated by a "trusted messenger," suggesting clergymen, family members, and sports figures.
During an interview on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday, Fauci said "it's just too soon to tell" whether Americans should gather together for the Christmas holiday.
"We've just got to concentrating on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we're going to do at a particular time," Fauci said.
In that same interview, Fauci praised California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who last week announced all California students age 12 or older will be required to get vaccinated. Fauci implied every state should follow Newsom's lead.
"People need to realize that having a vaccine requirement for schools is not a new, novel thing that is very peculiar or specific to COVID-19. We've been doing this for decades," Fauci said. "My own children could not have gone to school if they had not gotten vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella. So when we see pushback on that, it's as if this never happened before. It's actually ongoing with other vaccines. So, let's do it with a virus that's very, very serious."
Author: Chris Enloe