Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.
  • WCBS 880 Weekly Rewind: Dr. Fauci Says Schools Can Safely Reopen with Specific Resources, Opines on J&J’s Less Effective COVID Vaccine

    By Neil A. Carousso and WCBS Newsradio 880

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has been at the forefront of the country’s battle against COVID-19 since the virus emerged in the U.S. last year.

    Fauci turned 80 years old on Christmas Eve.

    He’s been on the job a long time, going through SARS, Ebola, Zika, HIV, to name a few and is now President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor.

    During a conversation Friday afternoon with the New York Press Club, moderated by WCBS 880 morning anchor Steve Scott, Fauci was asked, “How much longer will you keep doing this?”

    “You know, Steve, I don’t know,” Fauci replied. “I don’t focus on a number. Age number is irrelevant, it’s how you feel. Your functional capability. Are you still able to give it 100% or 110%? Are you still up to the task? As long as that is what I have, namely, the energy, the capability and giving 110%, there’s no limit… I’m pretty honest with myself, I have a real good reality-testing wife who doesn’t hesitate for a second to give me constructive criticism about things. I’ll know when to step down, but I don’t see that in the future right now.”

    During the nearly 40-minute long discussion, Fauci reiterated Biden’s plan to try to get K-8 grade students back in school in the first 100 days, but he admits that there are teachers and others who don’t think it’s safe just yet.

    He said part of his job is to try to convince those who have questions about it that it is safe to go back but, only if the rules are followed, such as mask wearing and social distancing.

    He stressed the recommendation is for K-8 and that it’s a little bit of a different ball game when it comes to middle, high school and college.

    Vaccines are also a key part of the discussion, especially given Johnson & Johnson’s promising news about its one-shot vaccine.

    It proved to be 72% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19, which isn’t as impressive as 95%, which Pfizer and Moderna got.

    “So although it was not as good as a couple of the others in preventing early symptomatic disease, what it did do very well was prevent severe disease, including hospitalization, death,” Fauci said.

    He predicts it could get an emergency use authorization within a week or two, with doses possibly being administered in the U.S. in February.

    Fauci was also pressed about working in the Trump administration and his frustration level during that time.

    “I don’t want to go back and rehash things, I really want to look forward,” Fauci said. “That’s in the past, let’s take a look at the things we can do to end this outbreak.”

    But Fauci did say that he never thought about quitting.

    “The enormity of the task and the responsibility that I had was such that it never even entered my mind to step down and quit,” Fauci said. “It was just too important a problem that we were facing.”

    Neil A. Carousso produces The 880 Weekly Rewind with Lynda Lopez Friday nights at 7 PM on WCBS Newsradio 880.

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