Dr. Anthony Fauci is telling Americans to “stay away” from large holiday gatherings — even if they have had the booster shot.
Fauci said that he considers “large” anything over 30 people.
“Those are the kind of functions — in the context of COVID, and particularly in the context of omicron — that you do not want to go to,” Fauci said.
The National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases head made the remarks during a White House COVID-19 task force briefing on Wednesday.
Fauci said that it is safe for those who are fully vaccinated to attend smaller functions.
Just over 30 percent of Americans who are fully vaccinated have also received a booster shot.
During an appearance on MSNBC on Tuesday, Fauci urged people not to invite unvaccinated relatives to holiday celebrations.
“I think we’re dealing with a serious enough situation that if there’s an unvaccinated person, I would say, ‘I’m very sorry, but not this time,'” Fauci said during his segment with MSNBC’s Alicia Menendez.
“Maybe another time, when this is all over,” Fauci added.
The doctor also claimed that the omicron variant is “going to find you” if you haven’t been vaccinated.
“It’s the best thing for you and your family but also your societal responsibility to not allow yourself to be a vehicle for spread to someone else who might be very vulnerable,” he said.
Dr. Leana Wen, a professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, said that she does not believe everyone should cancel their holiday plans during an interview with CNN.
“I do think it’s prudent to re-evaluate them and make a risk-benefit calculation based on each family’s circumstance,” Wen said.
Instead, she urged people to use a “two out of three” rule to minimize risks. So, between masking, vaccination and COVID-19 testing, she suggested people use at least two layers of protection.
“If you want to go to an indoor gathering where people are eating and drinking — and therefore unmasked — and it’s an area with high viral spread, you need proof of vaccination and same-day testing,” she said.