Dr. Fauci warns ‘things are going to get worse’ due to Delta variant surges, but doesn’t foresee more lockdowns

  • Dr. Fauci warned that “things will get worse” as cases of the Delta variant continues to spike.
  • “We’re looking not towards lockdown, but we’re looking towards some pain and suffering in the future,” Fauci told ABC.
  • Fauci reiterated the efficacy of vaccines and said “the solution to this is to get vaccinated.”
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical advisor, warned Sunday that “things will get worse” with “pain and suffering ahead” in the current surge in COVID-19 cases in the US, primarily driven by the Delta variant.

“Are we headed towards a period once again where we’re going to see lockdowns, businesses shut down, masks routine for everybody, or is this potentially just a temporary setback?,” ABC’s Jon Karl asked Fauci on Sunday morning.

“Jon, I don’t think we’re going to see lockdowns. I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country, not enough to crush the outbreak, but I believe enough to allow us to not get into the situation we were in last winter,” Fauci said. “But things are going to get worse. If you look at the numbers, the seven-day average has gone up substantially.”

Fauci added that “we are seeing an outbreak of the unvaccinated,” highlighting the efficacy of vaccines against COVID-19 illness.

Vaccines have proven remarkably effective against both symptomatic infections and severe disease. Less than 0.8% of fully vaccinated Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, according to estimates, with CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stating that 97% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

“We’re looking not towards lockdown, but we’re looking towards some pain and suffering in the future because we’re seeing the cases go up, which is why we’re saying over and over again that the solution to this is to get vaccinated, and this would not be happening,” Fauci said.

Nationwide, COVID-19 cases have risen by 148%, hospitalizations by 73%, and deaths by 13% over the past 14 days, according to a New York Times database, primarily driven by the contagious Delta variant.

The spike in cases caused the Centers for Disease Control to formally recommend that even fully vaccinated Americans wear face coverings indoors in communities with substantial or high COVID-19 spread, which now encompasses most of the country.

Currently, 44 US states and the District of Columbia have substantial or high COVID-19 spread, according to CDC data, are thus subject to the CDC’s guidance for fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors.

The Delta surge is hitting communities with the lowest vaccination rates the hardest, spurring new, urgent efforts to get reluctant Americans vaccinated.

In four of the five states with the highest rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, (Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama), less than 50% of residents have received even one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and less than 40% are fully vaccinated, according to The Times.

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