MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace admitted on Monday’s broadcast of “Deadline: White House” that she is a “Fauci-groupie” — and said that she worried that despite her own hyper-vigilance and adherence to mask-wearing recommendations, she would not be able to “outrun” the Omicron variant.
Wallace, who previously served as communications directer for former President George W. Bush and as an advisor for Republican presidential candidate John McCain, made the comments during a conversation with Dr. Anne Rimoin of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
“Can I just be super blunt? Is everyone going to get it? Everyone I know has COVID right now,” Wallace began.
Rimoin said that no, not everyone would get COVID — especially if they observed the precautions and guidelines put forth by public health officials.
“How?” Wallace interrupted, adding, “I have used all those tools. I am triple-vaxxed, I wear a mask everywhere except when I sit down, and I put it on before I get up. And I am going to get it. How do you not get Omicron?”
“Nicolle, that’s very fatalistic. I know how you feel,” Rimoin replied, saying that the best thing to do is take any possible steps to at least slow the rate of transmission and protect the health care systems from being overrun. “The masks make a very big difference. I would wear a very high quality KN-95 mask. I think that would make a big difference in terms of this.”
Rimoin went on to say that the typical precautions such as getting vaccinated and avoiding places that were especially crowded would also help to keep the virus from spreading.
“We should do what we can to avoid getting it. And understand that if we have done everything we can, we are going to have a mild version, and that’s much better,” Rimoin continued. “I get how you feel. So does the rest of the country. But there are things we can do to minimize it.”
“I don’t feel frustrated. I actually feel relieved. It seems like this is — if you are going to get one of them, this is the one to get,” Wallace said, apparently referencing reports that the Omicron variant has resulted in much faster transmission but lesser symptoms. “I have got three shots in nine months and I wear my mask everywhere, if I am going to get one, I want this one not the next one.”
Wallace went on to ask Rimoin about the trend pivoting from reporting on the number of cases and focusing instead on the number of hospitalizations and deaths.
“The metric we need to worry about is the hospitalizations,” Rimoin agreed, noting that the primary concern for those in the health care field was to make sure that hospitals could continue to treat not just COVID patients but patients who required admission or treatment for other issues.
“Our bottom line is we just want to be able to protect the health system,” she said, adding, “But how do we prevent those hospitalizations? By reducing cases.”
Hot video this week: Nicolle Wallace announcing she’s a “Fauci groupie,” buys KN-95 masks by the case, triple-vaxxed. And still scared of the Omicron. pic.twitter.com/qsUSGS7U3J
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) December 29, 2021
“You see how difficult this is for this administration. I mean I am a Fauci groupie. A thrice-vaccinated mask adherent. I buy KN-95 masks by the case load, they are in every pocket,” Wallace continued, bringing in panelists Jason Johnson and former Democratic Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill. “I wear them everywhere except when I sit down. And I am certain that this is not a variant I can outrun. And I wonder where you think the sort of conversation is heading at this moment, Jason?”
“It’s what you were saying, Nicolle. It is sort of a fatalism or a nihilism,” Johnson responded. “This Saturday, right, it’s Christmas, I’m hanging out with friends, and having dinner, a very, very small environment. When I was texting people to say merry Christmas, the most common response I got back was, ‘Oh, yeah, and I got got. I got COVID. I am not with my family because I am sick.’ I know seven people who have gotten COVID in the last ten days. All these people are vaccinated and most of them are boosted. There is a sense out there right now, people are like, my goodness the same things I have been doing to be careful, that have kept me safe for a year and a half, are no longer working.”
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