The United States’ top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci believes “things are going to get worse” as the US experiences a surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that the Delta variant has become rampant throughout the US in recent weeks, surpassing last summer’s peak of new daily cases and hitting the country’s relatively large population of unvaccinated people — 50 percent as of Thursday afternoon — particularly hard. Hence, experts are suggesting the US needs a 90-percent vaccination rate to reach herd immunity, given the Delta variant’s keen ability to spread.
“I don’t think we’re going to see lockdowns. I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country [vaccinated] – not enough to crush the outbreak – but I believe enough to not allow us to get into the situation we were in last winter. But things are going to get worse,” said Fauci.
“We’re going in the wrong direction. If you look at the inflection of the curve of new cases and, as you said in the run-in to this interview, that it is among the unvaccinated,” Fauci said in a television interview. “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.”
He warned that the virus will keep spreading through the fall and winter — giving it “ample chance” to develop another, worse variant.
Fauci is thus echoing comments previously made by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rachel Walensky that most of the deaths would likely be among unvaccinated people.
“So it really is – as Dr. Walensky has said many times and I have said, it is really a pandemic among the unvaccinated,” said Fauci. “So, this is an issue predominantly mong the unvaccinated, which is the reason why we’re out there practically pleading with the unvaccinated people to go out there and get vaccinated.”
CDC data also shows that the 7-day moving average of daily cases has risen to about 40,000, for a 46.7-increase over the previous 7-day average.