Dr. Anthony Fauci has a simple term to describe the state of the coronavirus pandemic — “mixed bag.”

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told McClatchy in a new interview that the United States is a “mixed bag” when it comes to the coronavirus as we enter the holiday season.

  • “It’s a mixed bag,” Fauci told McClatchy in the interview. “I feel good that the cases, the hospitalizations and the deaths are coming down. I’m still concerned that we have 64 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated who have not been vaccinated.
  • “So it’s a mixed feeling in reaction to where things are,” he added. “It’s good news that we’re continuing to come down. It’s a bit frustrating when we have so many people who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not.”
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Fauci said those who are vaccinated can celebrate the holidays with less caution than those who are unvaccinated.

In mid-October, Fauci said getting the coronavirus vaccine frees you up to spend time with your family this holiday season, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “If you’re vaccinated and your family members are vaccinated ... you can enjoy the holidays. You can enjoy Halloween, trick-or-treating, and certainly Thanksgiving with your family and Christmas with your family,” Fauci said on ABC News’ “This Week.”
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Fauci said on “This Week” in October that the holidays can serve as a reminder of why we should all be vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • “That’s one of the reasons why we emphasize why it’s so important to get vaccinated not only for your own safety, for that of your family, but also for the good of the community to keep the level of infection down,” he said. “When you do that there’s no reason at all why you can’t enjoy the holidays ... the way we’ve traditionally done it all along.”