If anyone has ever earned the right to mutter “I’m too old for this sh*t!,” it’s Dr. Anthony Fauci. After regularly having his expertise called into question by a reality TV show host-turned-president, Fauci is finally free of the unnecessary noise and nonsense. Well, most of it. When the 80-year-old doctor isn’t busy debunking bonkers conspiracy theories, he’s dealing with the fact that an estimated 25 percent of Americans won’t receive the COVID vaccine. On Tuesday night, Fauci spoke with Jimmy Kimmel about these disappointing statistics.
Kimmel didn’t waste any time in asking the question that’s on many people’s minds right now: After all the time and effort that Fauci and his colleagues have put into finding, testing, and approving a trio of vaccines for immediate use, is he frustrated that there are still people who refuse to be vaccinated? Even as we near a domestic death toll of 600,000? The ever-professional Fauci was both measured and honest in his response:
“Yes, it is very frustrating. Not only because you care about everyone in the country—you care about the health and the safety of individuals—but also, there’s a societal responsibility that we should all have to put an end to this outbreak. And if you have a group of people who understandably may think that they’re invulnerable because they’re young and healthy… and therefore, it doesn’t make any difference if they get infected because they likely would do well. That’s really not the right attitude.”
Fauci went on to explain how while the numbers might be in the favor of these healthy little whippersnappers, they’re absolutely not exempt from getting a devastating case of COVID. But more importantly, according to Fauci:
“If you let yourself get infected, it isn’t just you in a vacuum. You may inadvertently and innocently infect someone else who could really get in trouble. That could be someone’s grandmother or grandfather, someone’s wife who’s on chemotherapy for breast cancer. So you can’t think about yourself in a vacuum; you have to think somewhat about your societal responsibility.”
Also likely annoying? That it’s been more than a year and Fauci is still having to explain the concept of transmission. But his point is still an extremely valuable one. So if you won’t get vaccinated for Dr. Fauci, maybe do it for your grandma?
You can watch the full interview above.