“Something bad is going on. We’ve got to realize that,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said of the alarming rate at which covid cases are on the rise nationwide and how too many are ignoring safety measures that could save lives.
During a Sunday interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, the director of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases said the unvaccinated are not only the driving force behind the increase in cases brought on by the delta variant, but their irresponsible behavior could lead to an even “more problematic” mutation than the delta variant.
“As we’ve said all along this is fundamentally a pandemic among the unvaccinated. That has proven true,” Fauci said.
“A virus will not mutate unless you allow it to replicate,” Fauci added. “So if you allow the virus to freely circulate and not try and stop it, sooner or later, there is a likelihood that you’ll get another variant that could… be more problematic than the delta.”
Fauci continued, “People who are unvaccinated should think about their own health, that of their family, but also the community responsibility to crush this virus before it gets even worse.”
When asked about the rate of hospitalizations among children soaring in states like Florida who this week reported more young people in the hospital with the virus — 4,615 — than any other state, Fauci said to those who think children are in little danger from the virus need to “get the facts.”
“That’s something that we’ve been saying all along, where others have said, ‘No, no problem with children.’ There is a problem with children,” the doctor said. “You’ve got to separate and make sure you get the facts.”
“There are a lot of children now – all you need to do is do a survey of the pediatric hospitals throughout the country, and you’re seeing a considerable number of young people who are not only infected but who are seriously ill,” the doctor continued, adding, “Again, the numbers compared to the elderly are less, but that’s a false comparison. These kids are getting sick. We’ve really got to make sure we protect them.”
Asked if he could imagine elementary schools not having mask mandates, Fauci said surrounding kids with vaccinated people and implementing simple protective measures like mask-wearing is needed to “protect the children.”
“There’s no doubt about that in my mind. There are two things you do with children who are not vaccinated, and that’s the recommendation. You surround them with those who can be vaccinated, whoever they are, teachers, personnel in the school, anyone, get them vaccinated,” he said.
“So, protect the kids with a shield of vaccinated people. For the kids who can’t get vaccinated, that’s the reason why we’re having a strong recommendation that, in the schools, everybody should wear a mask, whether or not you’re vaccinated,” Fauci added, “We’ve got to protect the children.”
This article has been updated to reflect CDC numbers on pediatric hospitalizations in Florida.