JOHN BERMAN (CO-ANCHOR): You know that there is this issue of vaccine hesitancy out there — broadly speaking, not just about Johnson & Johnson, but about vaccines in general. One of the reasons is some of the things people say. And last night — I want to read you, I don't want to play it because I'm not sure that helps the cause here of saving lives — something that TV personality Tucker Carlson said on TV about vaccines in general.
He said, “If the vaccines are effective, there's no reason for people who have received the vaccine to wear masks or avoid physical contact. So maybe it doesn't work, and they're simply not telling you that.” Let me repeat that again. “So maybe it doesn't work, and they're simply not telling you that.”
What do you have to say to Tucker Carlson?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI (CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN): Yeah, that's just a typical crazy conspiracy theory. Why would we not tell people if it doesn’t work? Look at the data. The data are overwhelming in that three vaccines that have been approved for use in an emergency use authorization — the J&J, the Pfizer, and the Moderna — you had 30,000, 44,000, and 40,000 people in the clinical trial with an overwhelming signal of efficacy. So I don't have any idea what he's talking about.
BERMAN: How dangerous is it for a TV personality like that, who does have an audience of millions, to speculate about something like that?
FAUCI: Well, it's certainly not helpful to the public health of this nation, or even globally. You know, I don't want to get into arguments about Tucker Carlson, but to me it’s just — you know, it’s counter to what we're trying to accomplish to protect the safety and the health of the American public.