Fact check: Article falsely claims Fauci said COVID-19 vaccines are not working as advertised
McKenzie Sadeghi USA TODAY
Nov 18, 2021
The claim: Fauci admits COVID-19 vaccines are not working as advertised
Health experts are warning of a potential surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations this winter due to a combination of factors including colder weather, new variants and waning immunity.
In order to prevent another wave of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has consistently encouraged unvaccinated people to get a shot and promoted booster doses for those who are vaccinated.
But an article making the rounds on social media claims the nation’s top infectious disease expert recently changed his stance on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Dr. Fauci Admits Vaccines Did Not Work as Advertised and that Vaccinated Are in Great Danger Today,” reads the headline of a Nov. 14 article from the Gateway Pundit that accumulated more than 12,000 Facebook shares within a day.
Jim Hoft, the author of the post, asserts Fauci’s solution to “ineffective vaccines” is to promote more shots. “When will this end?” Hoft wrote, citing a Nov. 12 article from Best Life magazine about Fauci’s comments on the current situation of the pandemic in the U.S.
While Fauci recently warned of waning immunity in vaccinated people, that doesn’t mean COVID-19 vaccines haven’t been effective, as the article claims. Health officials have discussed the need for booster shots since the early stages of the U.S. vaccine rollout as protection can diminish over time.
Hoft did not return a request for comment.
Fauci’s interview misconstrued
The article’s false claim stems from comments Fauci made during a Nov. 12 interview with The New York Times‘ “The Daily” podcast, in which he discussed waning immunity, breakthrough infections and the importance of COVID-19 booster shots.
During the interview, Fauci also noted booster shots are “safe and effective” in increasing immune response, and they reverse the waning effect seen in people who have been vaccinated for six or more months.
But at no point in the episode did Fauci “admit” vaccines are not working as advertised. He pointed to countries that are ahead of the U.S. such as Israel, which is seeing a waning of immunity against COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations and, in some cases, death.
“I think it would be a misrepresentation, Michael, to say that the vaccines don’t work,” Fauci said. “I don’t think we’ve given that the full rein to prove what it is that you need to make them work.” He said that “boosters will be an essential part of the protection.”
Booster shots are not proof of ineffective vaccines
The Gateway Pundit article claims Fauci is only now promoting booster shots because the initial COVID-19 vaccines aren’t working, but Fauci warned as early as April that people would need a booster within 12 months of vaccination due to new variants and short-term protection levels.
Results from clinical trials for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showed the shots were effective in preventing COVID-19 for up to six months following the second dose. Meanwhile, data on Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine showed immune response for at least eight months.
Because the effectiveness of the three COVID-19 vaccines can decrease with time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration recommended and authorized booster shots for certain populations following six months of initial vaccination to provide additional immunity.
But booster shots are not a sign that vaccines aren’t effective.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Fauci said COVID-19 vaccines are not working as advertised. Fauci said health officials are beginning to see waning immunity against hospitalizations and infections, but it would be a “misrepresentation” to say vaccines aren’t working. He stressed the importance of booster shots to increase levels of immunity as vaccine protection fades over time. Experts say boosters are not evidence of failed vaccines, and studies show a third dose is effective in reducing the risk of severe illnesses and hospitalizations.
Fact Check-Misleading headlines with Fauci statement about booster shots
A statement by top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci talking about COVID-19 vaccines, waning immunity to COVID-19 infection and booster shots has been misconstrued online.
Referring to an interview with the New York Times podcast the Daily ( here) , conservative website the Gateway Pundit published an article with the headline “Dr. Fauci Admits Vaccines Did Not Work as Advertised and that Vaccinated Are in Great Danger Today (VIDEO)” (archived here ).
Website Red Voice Media similarly published an article entitled “Dr. Fauci Admits The Truth About Jabs – The Jabbed Are In Danger” (archived here).
Screengrabs of the Gateway Pundit headline have since been spread across social media, alongside claims that further misconstrue Fauci’s statement.
“The cure is more lethal than the actual wuhan virus (sic),” one Instagram user wrote (here). “Just to sell more of this poison this man finally admits after more than seven billion humans have become experimental animals that the vaccine is unsafe.” ( here )
Fauci, however, did not say vaccinated people are at risk due to the vaccine not working or it being dangerous to those who received it, as posts and headlines suggest. Instead, he was making a case for booster shots.
“We’ve shown that boosters are safe and effective in dramatically increasing the response, not only immunologically, but also, when you look at the clinical data from Israel. It’s very clear that it reverses some of the waning effect that you see in people who have been vaccinated six months or more,” he said.
Later asked about the current case incidence of COVID-19 versus 2020 ( here ), Fauci highlighted the more contagious and predominant Delta variant ( here ) and the number of eligible unvaccinated people.
Pointing to Israel, Fauci said: “They are seeing a waning of immunity, not only against infection, but against hospitalizations and to some extent, death, which is starting to now involve all age groups. It isn’t just the elderly. So if one looks back at this, one can say, do you know, it isn’t as if a booster is a bonus. But a booster might actually be an essential part of the primary regimen that people should have.”
During the same interview Fauci continued to encourage vaccination, saying that infection, hospitalization and death are still overwhelmingly among those who have not been immunized against COVID-19.
Around timestamp 10:18 ( here ), he can be heard saying: “I think it would be a misrepresentation […] to say that the vaccines don’t work. I don’t think we’ve given that the full rein to prove what it is that you need to make them work. And that’s the reason why I say, again, it’s my scientific opinion and projection that boosters will be an essential part of the protection.”
Missing context. In an interview with the New York Times, Dr. Fauci did not say COVID-19 vaccines don’t work or that they endanger those immunized; posts online with this claim misconstrue a statement in which he was referring to waning immunity and booster shots.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.
Fake news pusher: American Thinker.
American Thinker is a daily online magazine dealing with American politics from a politically conservative viewpoint. It was founded in 2003 by attorney Ed Lasky, health-care consultant Richard Baehr, and sociologist Thomas Lifson, and initially became prominent in the lead-up to the 2008 U.S. Presidential election for its attacks on then-candidate Barack Obama. The magazine has been described as a conservative blog. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the site “a not so thoughtful far-right online publication.”
In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s loss in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, the American Thinker promoted a variety of false conspiracy theories and claims of election fraud as part of the Republican Party’s attempt to overturn the election result. Faced with a lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, Lifson acknowledged that the site had relied upon “discredited sources who have peddled debunked theories”. The American Thinker likewise admitted that its election claims were “completely false and have no basis in fact” and that “it was wrong for us to publish these false statements.”
In 2009, in the wake of the election of Barack Obama, the American Thinker joined a wave of conservative media publications discussing the possibility of a second Civil War. They forecast the possibility of “several regional republics” emerging following the “overbearing, oppressive leviathan” of Obama’s presidency.
A 2008 column in the American Thinker drew attention to a California plan to require programmable thermostats that could be controlled by officials in the event of power-supply difficulties. According to The New York Times, the column was “by turns populist…, free-market…, and civil libertarian”.
Right Wing Watch has written about American Thinker, including that the site had in 2014 published a complimentary piece on white nationalist Jared Taylor and in 2015 asserted that rainbow-colored Doritos are a “gateway snack to introduce children to the joys of homosexuality”. In a 2020 blog post on the site, Thomas Lifson referenced a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters to claim that sea level rise has been slow and constant, and that this rise pre-dated industrialization.[non-primary source needed] This claim went viral over social media in March 2020. The author of the paper describes this interpretation as factually incorrect, constituting climate misinformation.
Under threat of litigation, in January 2021 American Thinker published a retraction of unsupported stories it published asserting that Dominion Voting Systems engaged in a conspiracy to rig the 2020 presidential election against President Donald Trump, acknowledging, “These statements are completely false and have no basis in fact.”
November 19, 2021
Fauci Finally Admits Vaccines Don’t Protect Against Serious Covid or Death
Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci made perhaps the most damning confession in the Covid vaccine saga. So far-reaching are the implications of his statement that the interview in which he made it may well prove a turning point in the fight against the vaccine fraud that is being perpetrated on the peoples of the world.
In a November 12 podcast session with the New York Times, Fauci was forced to admit the fact that the vaccines do not reliably protect their recipients from serious Covid or death.
Called upon to explain the data coming from Israel – a country with one of the highest vaccination rates in the world – Fauci said the following:
“They are seeing a waning of immunity not only against infection but against hospitalization and to some extent death, which is starting to now involve all age groups. It isn’t just the elderly” [emphasis added].
In other words, the vaccines’ protective efficacy wanes not only in regard to the threat of infection but also in regard to severe Covid and death. Speaking about the effectiveness of the vaccines in countries with high vaccination rates, Fauci admitted:
“It’s waning to the point that you’re seeing more and more people getting breakthrough infections, and more and more of those people who are getting breakthrough infections are winding up in the hospital.”
Even though Fauci tries to palliate the hard impact of his answer in soft language, the harsh truth behind his words is painfully evident.
Fauci’s words amount to the admission that the vaccinated are getting infected and more and more of them are ending up in hospital where they keep succumbing to Covid at increasing rates.
This is what data from Israel and other highly vaccinated countries has indicated for some time now. In the United Kingdom, for example, between February and September of this year, 72 percent of all Covid-related deaths were among the vaccinated. In Scotland the situation was even worse: 80 percent of Covid deaths occurred among those who had been injected with the vaccines.
For months Fauci and his fellow vaccinators censored the unfavorable data while claiming that the injections protected against serious Covid and death. The evidence to the contrary was clear and extensive. More than two months before Fauci’s admission, we marshaled some of it a piece titled The Vaccines Do Not Stop Severe Covid or Death. Fauci was, of course, well familiar with the data we used, but he did everything he could to keep it concealed from the public for as long as he possibly could. Rather than coming out clean, he kept spreading misinformation about the vaccines’ alleged efficacy to protect people from falling seriously ill and dying. But in the end, even such an adroit prevaricator as Dr. Fauci could not hold out any longer under the weight of evidence.
If you notice in Fauci’s latest New York Times interview there is almost a sense of panic, as he mentions younger people. Those who are familiar with the actual data rather than the misinformation narratives propagated by the mainstream media know that Covid has been primarily a disease of the elderly. In almost all places and regions, the median age of Covid-related deaths tends to be higher than the average life expectancy. Younger individuals who were healthy were generally safe from the most severe forms of the disease. But now, in countries with high vaccination rates, we are seeing younger vaccinated individuals coming down with serious Covid and even dying.
This appears very much like the case of antibody-dependent enhancement. Some of the world’s best scientists in the field have warned precisely against this danger. Included among them are Dr. Robert Malone and one of the world’s leading virologists Luc Montagnier. Professor Montagnier won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for his work on the virus that causes HIV. Their warnings have, however, have not only gone unheeded but both men have been censored and suppressed by the vaccinators with the help of Big Tech and the mainstream media.
Read the rest here: