Thaddeus Swanek Thaddeus Swanek
Senior Writer and Editor, Strategic Communications, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Published

December 16, 2021

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In this week’s Path Forward event, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Suzanne Clark discussed the progression of the Omicron variant and vaccine boosters with Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health.

The Path Forward, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation event series, helps business and community leaders find the answers they need to execute a responsible reopening strategy for a post-pandemic world. 

What Happened?
With half of U.S. states reporting cases of the new variant of COVID-19, known as Omicron,  Dr. Fauci underlined the importance of masking and getting initial doses of the vaccine and booster shots for those who are eligible. He also shared his thoughts on combating vaccine disinformation and vaccines for children.

The CDC is now recommending COVID booster shots for everyone ages 16 and over. The agency also recommends everyone age five and older get a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine approvals for those four and younger are still pending.

What the Experts Are Saying:

“We’ve said from the beginning that science will win. We’ve been really proud of the business community’s role in this…Get vaccinated, get your booster!” – Suzanne Clark, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“We have to reserve judgement as to whether or not it [the Omicron variant] truly is a less severe infection.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

“If you have a child within that age group [five to 11-years old], we strongly suggest to parents that they get those children vaccinated…Because children are not completely exempt from severe manifestations of COVID…There have been over 8,000-9,000 hospitalizations and well over 100 deaths [in that age group]. If they are old enough to get vaccinated—vaccinate them!” – Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“I don’t believe we’ll have to be doing any kind of shutdown with regard to businesses in your community. I think we can continue to do what we do now as long as we’re prudent with our care for things like wearing masks in appropriate settings.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“Get on the Internet, get on your Facebook, get on your Twitter and counter that misinformation! Talk about what the real, true information is. Put aside and debunk those theories about the safety and inefficacy of vaccines—which is completely untrue!” – Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“The vaccination program has saved 1.1 million lives and avoided 10 million hospitalizations. That’s what vaccines do.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“It is essential for people—particularly the elderly and the vulnerable—but, frankly, everyone that has been vaccinated, to get their booster shot.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci.

What You Can Do:

Please consider joining the Rally for Recovery Commitment, a U.S. Chamber-led program encouraging every company and organization to take three basic, but important, steps to get the country back to health and American workers back to work.

And if you’re looking to get vaccinated or a booster shot, visit Vaccines.gov to find a vaccination site near you! 

Up Next:

Please join future Path Forward events to learn how to better protect you workers, customers, coworkers, and friends from the spread of coronavirus.

Additional Resources:

About the authors

Thaddeus Swanek

Thaddeus Swanek

Senior Writer and Editor, Strategic Communications, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Thaddeus is a senior writer and editor with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's strategic communications team.

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