On Tuesday afternoon, a vaccination site in Washington DC saw the arrival of two surprise visitors—former president Barack Obama and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci. The former president had visited the site to offer some star power as vaccinations on the whole and vaccines for children are still issues that polarize the nation.
Former president Obama told the crowd of parents, teachers and students at Kimball Elementary School that they were just getting through the holiday season and that they had “one more thing to be thankful for” and that was kids who were between the ages of 5 and 11 could get vaccinated.
Obama added that nobody really loved getting a shot and that he didn’t love getting a shot but he did it because it was going to keep him healthy. He was at the clinic to encourage Americans to get their shots.
Dr. Fauci said that vaccines would protect them as they had a lot of data and experience to back the efficiency of vaccines. He also mentioned that vaccinations would help keep schools open as a larger number of vaccinated kids would result in decreased chances of a COVID-19 outbreak.
A new variant of COVID called the Omicron has recently emerged from the southern region of Africa. Although there are no reported cases of COVID due to this variant as yet, vaccinated individuals are less likely to catch an infection. Even if they do, hospitalizations are minimal and fatalities due to COVID-19 are very rare.
Both Obama and Dr. Fauci encouraged families to contact their physicians to clear their doubts and to make informed decisions on vaccinations.
This rally comes after Dr. Fauci faced criticism from Republican senators. Earlier, on Tuesday morning, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said that Dr. Fauci, who is the chief medical adviser of the Biden administration, was acting like an “all-high priest of science.” He also accused him of “deflection.” Dr. Fauci has often been criticized GOP, among whom Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton have been the most vocal and critical.