The adviser to President Joe Biden and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases made the comment at a virtual event held by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He and Dr J. Stephen Morrison discussed the developments throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, such as treatment and international collaborations.
One of the topics they discussed was the increase in cases, which is believed to be partly attributed to the Delta variant as it is considered to be more lethal and more transmissible. The variant was first identified in India at the beginning of the year.
In three weeks, infections in the US have risen by an average of 266 per cent; from 23,000 cases a day to 85,000. Dr Fauci acknowledged that the situation was “complicated” but tried to provide an understanding of the situation and compared it to that of the UK.
“Well, I think it’s going to be complicated, but let me explain what I project will happen. You never can guarantee it’s going to be accurate, but I think this is what’s going to happen,” he said. “Since an acceleration of vaccines doesn’t give a result until several weeks after, we are already on a trajectory that looks strikingly similar to the sharp incline that the UK saw.”
Dr Fauci suggested the situation would improve once the daily case rate is between 100,000 to 200,000 cases a day. This is similar to predictions made the UK’s health secretary, Sajid Javid.
He stressed the importance of vaccinations as the one thing that would really make a difference against the spread of the virus. Currently, it is estimated that 60 per cent of over 12s in the US are fully vaccinated against the virus. This is below national targets.
“We’ve got to get those 93 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not getting vaccinated,” he said.
According to Dr Fauci, roughly 40 per cent of coronavirus cases are in three states. He went to say that Florida hosts approximately 20 per cent of all of the country’s current Covid cases. He said the tide might be turning in these areas as the rate of vaccination was improving.
“The states that are suffering most from the increase are starting to realise that you’ve got to get vaccinated if you want to get out of this,” Dr Fauci said.
He remarked that Republican politicians speaking out about the importance of getting vaccinated against the coronavirus was a positive step, highlighting the advocacy of the the governors of Arkansas and Florida, Asa Hutchinson and Ron DeSantis, respectively, and Louisiana congressman Steve Scalise.
At the beginning of July, the director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky, highlighted preliminary data that showed 99.5 per cent of deaths related to coronavirus were among the unvaccinated. Later in the month, she said that, partly due to the Delta variant, covid was becoming “a pandemic of the unvaccinated” at a White House press briefing.
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