WASHINGTON D.C.: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief White House Medical Adviser, has said Americans should celebrate good news about declining COVID-19 cases as the holiday season approaches, but they should not "prematurely declare victory" over the pandemic.
Increasing vaccinations and adherence to public health precautions will ensure a happy Halloween for children, he added, while telling CNN, "Particularly if you are vaccinated, you can get out there trick-or-treating."
"If you are not vaccinated, again, think about it, that you will add an extra degree of protection to yourself and your children and your family and your community. So it is a good time to reflect on why it is important to get vaccinated, but go out there and enjoy Halloween, as well as the other holidays that will be coming," he added.
However, he would not give his opinion on whether the U.S. should implement a vaccine mandate for air travel, like Canada, for the upcoming holiday season, which includes Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Referring to the decline in COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths after the surge caused by the Delta variant, Fauci stressed, "We have to just be careful that we do not prematurely declare victory in many respects. We still have around 68 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated who have not yet gotten vaccinated."
"I need to see the dynamics of the outbreak in the community go way down. If you look at the history of the surges and the diminutions in cases over a period of time, they can bounce back," he said, in response to a question on when vaccinated Americans should not be required to wear masks indoors.
The number of deaths caused by COVID-19 in the U.S. has exceeded 712,000, with 44 million total cases being recorded. Most hospitalizations and deaths are people who are unvaccinated.