As the US continues to fight against coronavirus, chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on February 3 urged Americans to skip the Super Bowl party this year. The Super Bowl event is an annual crowd puller across the US as millions follow the final. However, amid the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, Fauci warned that there could be a spike in infections nation-wide if people stage or attend traditional Super Bowl bashes next weekend.
In a televised interview with NBC’s Today show, the top US health official urged Americans to forget about snacks and drinks and inviting friends over for the big game. Fauci noted that at least 25,000 people are expected to witness the Super Bowl and further asked people to watch the game and enjoy it, but with family or the people in the household. He said, “This time around, just lay low and cool it”.
Fauci said, “As much fun as it is to get together for a big Super Bowl party, now is not the time to do that”.
He added, “Super Bowl is a big deal in the United States. Enjoy the game. Watch it on television. But do it with the immediate members of your family, the people in your household. Every time we have something like this, there's always a spike, be it a holiday, Christmas, New Year's, Thanksgiving”.
The big game this year is taking place against the backdrop of the coronavirus crisis. The NFL championship game, Super Bowl 55, will send the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the Bucs’ home field in Tampa, Florida. Fauci said that the people will be separated in the stands and will be wearing masks with at least 7,500 vaccinated health care workers at the NFL championship showdown at Raymond James Stadium.
Meanwhile, it is worth mentioning that the United States is the worst-hit country due to the virus with over 26 million infected cases and nearly 450,680 deaths so far. Amid the surge in infections, last week, Fauci had even warned that the UK strain of the novel coronavirus will become more dominant in the US by the middle of the spring. He added that it is not clear yet if the South African coronavirus strain will eventually dominate in the US. It is, however, considered to be more infectious than the original strain.
“The projection that is made with regard to the UK [variant] is that by the end of March, the beginning of April it actually will become more dominant in this country”, said Fauci.
While speaking at the NIH vaccine data discussion, Fauci also raised an alarm over the latest trial results from Johnson and Novavax. He said that their vaccines proved to be less effective against the new variant of the virus. He said that it is a "wake up call" for everyone because the new variants will continue to evolve until it is blocked from replicating.