On Saturday, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, answered children’s questions as part of The ABC of COVID-19, a town hall event held in partnership with Sesame Street featuring Big Bird, Elmo, Grover and other beloved characters. The town hall was arranged to show families how to stay healthy and enjoy their holidays during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the hour-long special, Fauci told Elmo and his friends that Santa can now can safely deliver presents this Christmas as the physician traveled to the North Pole and vaccinated Santa Claus himself.
“I have to say I took care of that for you, because I was worried that you’d all be upset,” he said. “So what I did a little while ago, I took a trip up there to the North Pole. I went there, and I vaccinated Santa Claus myself.”
Santa Claus will be coming to town this year, Dr. Anthony Fauci says.— CNN (@CNN) December 19, 2020
“I took care of that for you,” he says. “…I took a trip up there to the North Pole; I went there and I vaccinated Santa Claus myself. I measured his level of immunity, and he is good to go.” #CNNSesameStreet pic.twitter.com/CNJ520XTew
As children were still worried if Father Christmas and his reindeer would be able to get to everyone's house safely, the top US infectious disease expert added that Santa "is good to go".
"I measured his level of immunity, and he is good to go," Fauci said. "He can come down the chimney, he can leave the presents, he can leave and you have nothing to worry about."
One little girl was curious if it would still be possible to visit her grandparents over Christmas and Fauci explained that it is still necessary to be careful and wear a mask.
This is not the first time Fauci has spoken directly to children about pandemic safety during the winter holidays. In November, he told USA Today that Santa Claus has an 'innate immunity' and would not spread COVID-19 to anyone on Christmas.
"Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity"
The upcoming Christmas holiday is brighter now that vaccines developed by both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use in the US. The Monday vaccine rollout has given hope to many US citizens that there is now a little light at the end of the yearlong pandemic tunnel.