Update: Later that day, the Post changed the headline and the lede paragraph.
To be clear, I’m not a Fauci fanboi: well before the pandemic, I had serious disagreements about some parts of NIAID’s portfolio–and as people have learned, these disagreements can translate into illness and deaths. But the Washington Post, in a story reported by Andrew Jeong, Ellen Francis, and Brittany Shammas, completely misrepresented Fauci. Here’s what they wrote (boldface mine):
The omicron coronavirus variant will infect “just about everybody” regardless of vaccination status, top U.S. infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci said Tuesday.
But those who have been vaccinated will “very likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well,” and avoid hospitalization and death, he added….
But that’s not what he actually said! Here’s the transcript of what he actually said (boldface mine):
I think, in many respects, Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will, ultimately, find just about everybody. Those who have been vaccinated and vaccinated and boosted would get exposed. Some, maybe a lot of them, will get infected but will very likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well in the sense of not having hospitalization and death.
Note that he is not not saying “just about everybody” will be infected, but that they will be exposed. This is fundamentally different from what the Post reported. A third dose, even after two months does provide some protection, and other interventions like testing and masking (and Fauci didn’t mention masking at all–not a fanboi) also reduce the risk of infection.
We need better reporting–and better editing. Time for a blogger ethics panel!