Dr. Anthony Fauci has been asking a lot of the American people, and for the most part, they’ve been willing to go along with it. For society’s own good, you know?

But after nearly a year of effectively putting their lives on hold, people are understandably wondering more and more what the point of all this has been.

Turns out, that’s a really, really good question. Because Fauci himself doesn’t seem to know:

From yesterday’s COVID19 Response Team press briefing at the White House:

There are certain aspects of being vaccinated — and what that means to you personally and your own personal safety and that of your family — versus what vaccines will allow you to do in society.  One relates to you, yourself, being vaccinated, and the other relates to the number of people and the relative percentage of people in society that will be vaccinated, because there will be things that you will not be able to do because the burden of virus in society will be very high, which it is right now.  Even though we’re going way down on the decline that Dr. Walensky showed you, we are still at an unacceptably high baseline level with a seven-day average being quite high.

So there are things, even if you’re vaccinated, that you’re not going to be able to do in society: for example, indoor dining, theaters, places where people congregate.  That’s because of the safety of society.  You, yourself, what you can do when you are together with another person, we are looking at that, and we’re going to try and find out very quickly what recommendations could be made about what people can do.

One of the things that’s universal here that we know: that at this point in time, it is unclear whether when you get vaccinated and you might be protected from clinical disease, which is the primary endpoint of the vaccine studies, that you could conceivably be infected, have virus in your nasopharynx, and at that same time have no symptoms, which is the reason why we recommend and say you still need to wear a mask.  Because if you do have virus in your nasopharynx, even though we hope that when the data comes in, it’s going to show that the virus level is quite low and you’re not transmitting it, we don’t know that now.  And for that reason, we want to make sure that people continue to wear masks despite the fact that they’re vaccinated.

In other words, COVID19 vaccines are great and people should definitely get them, but vaccinated people must continue to indefinitely live their lives as if there is no vaccine and may never be a vaccine.

If vaccinated people are, in fact, unable to transmit the virus, we have no doubt that Fauci would come up with another reason why they can’t do things in society.

There’s literally nothing wrong with urging people to take safety precautions. Everyone should, and not just with regard to COVID19.

But the messaging has been absolutely horrendous. At this point, it doesn’t matter whether it’s actually being done to protect public safety. To the public, it just looks like more frenzied goalpost shifting.

This is just not sustainable. It’s also straight-up dangerous. Dr. Fauci may be an incompetent messenger, but he has to be smart enough to know how public perception of his remarks will affect people’s willingness to get the COVID19 vaccine. Right now, he’s basically telling them that getting vaccinated won’t change anything about how they’ve been living their lives during the pandemic, so what incentive is he giving them to get vaccinated?

Enough already.