Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President, Dr. Anthony Fauci cruised the Sunday shows today and spent some time with Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation.

I didn’t get a chance to watch the interview, but read articles on the interview to see what Fauci had to say.

A piece in The Hill stated: Fauci said illnesses — such as malaria, polio and measles — have become nearly nonexistent through “a very, very, very intensive vaccine campaign.”

Obviously, that raised some eyebrows. Malaria nonexistent because of vaccines??

I went back to the interview and transcript to see what Fauci actually said:

Image/Face the Nation screen capture

I mean, we’ve heard people say, understandably, they’re trying to look for a metric to give to the public that we’re going to have to start living with COVID. I believe that’s the case because I don’t think we’re going to eradicate it. We’ve only eradicated one infection of mankind, and that’s smallpox. I don’t think we’re even going to eliminate it. The way you’ve eliminated polio from the United States, you’ve eliminated malaria, which was, you know, decades and decades ago. We had malaria right here in Washington, D.C. We’ve eliminated measles because we have a very, very, very intensive vaccine campaign that did that. 

The term “elimination” is used when infectious disease transmission is no longer occurring in a specific geographic area. “Eradication” is used to describe elimination of infectious disease transmission worldwide.

Concerning malaria elimination in the US, the CDC notes:

The National Malaria Eradication Program was a cooperative undertaking by state and local health agencies of 13 southeastern states and the Communicable Disease Center of the U. S. Public Health Service, originally proposed by Dr. L. L. Williams. The program commenced operations on July 1, 1947. It consisted primarily of DDT application to the interior surfaces of rural homes or entire premises in counties where malaria was reported to have been prevalent in recent years. By the end of 1949, more than 4,650,000 house spray applications had been made. It also included drainage, removal of mosquito breeding sites, and spraying (occasionally from aircrafts) of insecticides. Total elimination of transmission was slowly achieved. In 1949, the country was declared free of malaria as a significant public health problem. 

Concerning malaria and the use of vaccines, the World Health Organization said in a press release in October:

Widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission. The recommendation is based on results from an ongoing pilot programme in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi that has reached more than 800 000 children since 2019.

“This is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Using this vaccine on top of existing  tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives each year.”

Malaria remains a primary cause of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 260,000 African children under the age of five die from malaria annually.

I assume the author of The Hill piece misunderstood Fauci’s statement.

I just wanted to clarify.