White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday warned that the U.S. is “going in the wrong direction” with the highly contagious Delta variant spread prompting a surge in COVID-19 cases, especially amongst people who are unvaccinated.
During an interview on CNN, Fauci was asked about the possibility of the country reaching 4,000 deaths a day if the vaccination rate does not improve. Currently, only 49 percent of the U.S. is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Well, when they do modeling, they generally give you the worst-case scenario and the best-case scenario,” Fauci said. “But somewhere in the middle, if you look historically at the modeling that has been done over the last 18 months, for the most part, it’s been pretty accurate. So, I’m not so sure it would be the worst-case scenario, but it’s not going to be good.”
Fauci added that the country is “going in the wrong direction,” pointing to the inflection of the curve of new cases among the unvaccinated.
“And since we have 50 percent of the country is not fully vaccinated, that’s a problem, particularly when you have a variant like Delta, which has this extraordinary characteristic of being able to spread very efficiently and very easily from person to person,” Fauci said.
Fauci stressed that COVID-19 cases will continue to rise if more people aren’t vaccinated before being asked whether fatalities will strictly be among the unvaccinated.
“Well, yes. That’s the issue. And that’s the thing that sometimes gets confusing to people,” Fauci said. “If you were vaccinated, the vaccine is highly protective against the Delta variant, particularly against severe disease leading to hospitalization, and sometimes ultimately to death.”
Fauci echoed a sentiment shared by CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who said “it is really a pandemic among the unvaccinated.”
“So, this is an issue predominantly among the unvaccinated, which is the reason why we’re out there practically pleading with the unvaccinated people to go out there and get vaccinated,” Fauci said.
The CDC reported that 30 states have yet to fully vaccinate at least half of their residents. According to Johns Hopkins University, every state in the country reported an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the week ending Friday compared to the week prior.
Right-wingers who have been espousing vaccination skepticism for months have notably changed their tune recently by advocating the public to get vaccinated as hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 continue to rise. Recent polling has shown that Republicans, especially men, are significantly more resistant to getting vaccinated against the infectious disease that has killed more than 600,000 Americans thus far.