President Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci have touted the Pfizer drug Paxlovid as an effective treatment for COVID-19.
But Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease official, said Tuesday he experienced a rebound of COVID symptoms after he was treated with the drug, DailyMail.com reported.
In fact, Pfizer’s own trial data showed the drug may not be effective for people who have received a COVID vaccine. Fauci has been “double-boosted,” meaning he has received four doses of the experimental mRNA vaccine. And in May, the Centers for Disease Control issued a formal warning that a course of Paxlovid could produce a rebound of COVID-19.
Fauci, who tested positive for COVID earlier this month, was speaking remotely at the Foreign Policy Global Health Forum.
As is typical of the omicron variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that are currently prevalent, Fauci had mostly mild symptoms, including fatigue. But he said that when his symptoms became slightly worse, he began a five-day course of Paxlovid.
After the drug course, he tested negative for COVID-19 three days in a row. However, when he tested on the fourth day, the result came back positive, he said.
President Biden, in his 2022 State of the Union address, touted Paxlovid as a key to the nation’s COVID response.
“If you get COVID-19, the Pfizer pill reduces your chances of ending up in the hospital by 90%,” he said.
“I’ve ordered more pills than anyone in the world has. Pfizer is working overtime to get us a million pills this month and more than double that next month.”
Fauci said at the conference where he disclosed his COVID-19 rebound, “It is not the time to be at odds with each other, it’s a time to be pulling together against the common enemy, which is the virus.”
He called for an “aggressive” public vaccine campaign.
“If you locked down only for the sake of locking down, sooner or later the virus is going to enter or re-enter into your country,” he said. “The purpose should be to get a very aggressive vaccination campaign to all citizens.”
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One week ago, Fauci told a Senate panel that he if it weren’t for the fact he was double boosted, he wouldn’t be doing as well after contracting COVID-19.
“I’m still feeling really quite fine,” Fauci said Thursday at the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing.
“I think I’m an example, given my age, of what we’re all talking about today,” Fauci said. “I’m vaccinated. I’m doubly boosted. And I believe if that were not the case, I very likely would not be talking to you looking as well as I look, I think, right now.
“So all is well with Fauci.”
Fauci: Vaccines ‘virtually 100% efficacious’
At the launch of the vaccines, Fauci, other health officials, pharmaceutical companies and media declared the coronavirus shots to be virtually 100% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 then gradually lowered their estimations to as low as 20% after only six months.
Fauci is seen in a media interview touting the vaccines as “virtually 100% efficacious” and stating in congressional testimony that the “real world effectiveness is even more impressive than the results of the clinical trial.”
Moderna boasted its vaccine was 100% effective in teenagers. Pfizer said its vaccine was 100% effective in preventing COVID infections. In other statements, the shots were declared to provide 100% protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death.
However, by October 2021, a study of real world data showed Pfizer’s COVID vaccine was only 20% effective against infection after six months.
A CNN headline one year earlier, before the vaccines were launched, said “Past vaccine disasters show why rushing coronavirus vaccine now would be ‘colossally stupid.”
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