Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that “things are going to get worse” in the pandemic as many remain unvaccinated and the Delta variant drives a surge of new cases nationwide.
Asked on ABC News Sunday if the nation is going to see businesses having to shutter again, the White House’s chief medical adviser said no, because of those who are vaccinated. But the doctor said the percentage of vaccinated is still too low “to crush the outbreak.”
“I don’t think we’re going to see lockdowns. I think we have enough of the percentage of people [vaccinated] in the country—not enough to crush the outbreak—but I believe enough to not allow us to get into the situation we were in last winter,” the doctor said.
Fauci then cautioned, “But things are going to get worse.”
“If you look at the acceleration of the number of cases, the seven-day average has gone up substantially,” Fauci said. “What we really need to do, we say it over and over again, and it’s the truth—we have 100 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not getting vaccinated.”
Fauci spoke to the so-called breakthrough cases among the vaccinated, saying that it was expected because “no vaccine is 100 percent effective.” But the doctor explained that a majority of breakthrough cases “are mostly mild or without symptoms” and that the “unvaccinated” have a “much greater chance of getting infected in the first place” and are “vulnerable to getting a severe illness that might lead to hospitalization and, in some cases, death.”
“We are seeing an outbreak of the unvaccinated,” Fauci said.
Also because of concerns about the spreading the Delta variant, the CDC this week again recommended that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors.
There is, however, some positive news this week, as vaccination rates again appear to be increasing, possibly fueled by concerns about the Delta variant. According to the White House’s Covid-19 data director, Dr. Cyrus Shahpar, the U.S. administered 857,000 more vaccine doses on Friday than the day before, the highest daily total since July 1. Nearly 70 percent of Americans have received at least one dose, but to reach the best immunity, especially against the Delta variant, two doses are required for most vaccines.