Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested American families should consider enforcing a vaccine mandate in their own homes ahead of the holidays as fears mount over spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus across the country.
Fauci made the suggestion during an interview with The Washington Post, recommending families ask their holiday guests about their COVID vaccination status and even potentially require the vaccine before celebrations take place.
This is how families can "enjoy" their holiday traditions in an indoor setting, he said.
"When you get vaccinated, and you have a vaccinated group, and you are in an indoor setting, you can enjoy, as we have traditionally over the years, dinners and gatherings within the home with people who are vaccinated," Fauci explained.
"And that's the reason why people should, if they invite people over their home, essentially ask and maybe require that people show evidence that they are vaccinated, or give their honest and good faith word that they have been vaccinated," he continued.
Fauci continued by citing data indicating the vaccinated are at a much less risk of hospitalization or death in the event they do contract a breakthrough case of COVID.
"So, vaccinated puts you in a much different position than the extreme vulnerability of people who are not vaccinated, because all you have to do is look at the data and look at those areas of the country, those states, those communities that are under-vaccinated," Fauci said.
"There's no doubt they have a much higher degree of infection, a much higher degree of hospitalization, and a much higher degree of death."
Despite the omicron variant spreading to numerous states, the delta variant still accounts for over 99% of COVID cases detected in the country.
Florida and Illinois are some of the latest states to detect omicron, just days after the first case in the U.S. was detected in San Francisco.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced earlier this week that 19 states have detected the omicron variant so far.
Fauci has often been criticized for appearing to move the goal posts on when Americans can start returning to normal life throughout the fluctuating COVID crisis, particularly when it comes to the freedoms of those who are fully vaccinated.