Ian Patrick, FISM News
During the White House COVID-19 Response Team press briefing on March 24, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the U.S. was “at the corner” for COVID-19 and to turn it we need “more vaccinations” and persistence in following “public health measures.” Data and polling from various organizations, however, show that Americans are ready to turn the corner now.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said she was hopeful about the inoculation effort, but was worried about “spring breakers and people who are not continuing to implement prevention strategies while we get fully scaled up.” Fauci, head of the the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), agreed with Walensky and expounded on how he thinks America could turn the corner:
When I’m often asked ‘Are we turning the corner?’, my response is really more like we are at the corner. Whether or not we’re gonna be turning that corner still remains to be seen depending on what Dr. Walensky said, not to repeat it. We do have a lot of challenges in front of us with regard to the high level of daily infections. . . . When you’re at that level I don’t think you can declare victory and say you’ve turned the corner. You’ve got to continue to do what we’re doing: more vaccinations and continue to do public health measures until we actually do turn the corner.
He repeated data that he gave previously, stating that “individuals who were doubly vaccinated with the vaccine” had an infection rate of 0.05% and remarked that it was “extremely low.” He said “That’s where we want to be. When as a country we are at that level, we will have turned the corner.”
However, Americans are ready and want to turn that corner now. A Gallup poll shows that only 38% of fully inoculated individuals either completely or mostly isolate themselves, whereas 28% of those who do not plan to get a vaccine are completely or mostly isolating themselves. Even regardless of vaccination status, most Americans are still going out in public. As for those who do not want to get inoculated, an Axios/Ipsos poll reveals that 18% of Americans plan on never receiving any candidate.
Data from the Understanding Coronavirus in America Study also revealed that, while Americans continue to go out in public, mask wearing differs in opinion and in practice. The University of Southern California Dornsife presented data gathered in December 2020 and January 2021 which showed that 83% of Americans think wearing a mask is as effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, masks are not always worn in regular activities.
Of those who participated in the survey, 41% visited other households and only a fifth wore masks for most of the time. Similarly, only half of the 63% who were in close contact with non-household members wore masks for most of the time. Even 15% of Americans say they gathered with ten or more people, and less than half of these individuals wore masks for the majority of the gathering.