Dr. Anthony S. Fauci warned on Sunday that the coronavirus pandemic in the US is now “going in the wrong direction” because too many Americans are still choosing not to vaccinate.
When asked by CNN’s State of the Union program about forecasts in recent statistical models that Covid-19 cases and deaths could increase in the coming months if vaccination rates do not increase, Dr. Fauci, “it won’t be good”.
With around half of Americans not yet vaccinated and the rapidly spreading delta variant in circulation, Dr. Fauci and a number of current and former health officials on Sunday expressed their anger at the situation, strongly pressing that vaccination is the best and most effective way to contain the tide of Covid cases.
“It really is a pandemic among the unvaccinated,” said Dr. Fauci, adding, “It’s like you have two kinds of America. You have the very vulnerable unvaccinated part and you have the really relatively protected vaccinated part. If you are vaccinated, you belong to a completely different category than someone who is not vaccinated. “
The situation is so dire that in the past few days even some Republican governors in states with low vaccination have demonstratively admonished people to get a Covid vaccine.
On Sunday on CNN, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said that with the new school year approaching, “is a pivotal moment in our race against the Covid virus,” adding that “what is holding us back is low vaccination rates.” . “
Governor Hutchinson, a Republican, said he recently held town halls which he attributed a 40 percent increase in vaccinations. Still, he added that some people’s resistance “has certainly hardened”. “It’s just wrong information,” he said. “They are myths.”
In CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Dr. Jerome Adams, who was a surgeon general in the Trump administration, also asked for the vaccination and expressed the decision in patriotic terms. “Get vaccinated because it will help every single American enjoy the freedoms we want to return to,” he said.
Dr. Adams said some people still have legitimate questions about vaccination, including workers who fear post-vaccination side effects could mean they miss a work day or a paycheck. He predicted that once the vaccines – currently available under emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration – are fully approved, vaccination rates would rise. That will likely prompt the military and some companies to mandate vaccinations for service members and employees, he said.
In the meantime, Dr. Adams, the message should be, “It is your choice, but choices have consequences for you and other people,” including children who are not old enough to be vaccinated and people who are medically vulnerable.
Understand the state of vaccine mandates in the United States
Several current and former officials discussed whether recommendations or mandates on wearing masks should be reintroduced.
Dr. Fauci said the Biden government is considering revising stricter guidelines on how to wear masks. In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosened their guidelines, saying that fully vaccinated people are not required to wear a mask in most indoor spaces.
Dr. Adams said, “Those guidelines have frankly confused citizens, it is frustrated corporations and public health officials that I still hear about, and it has been a failure in every way.”
He said the CDC should clearly state that even vaccinated people should wear masks when in public, around people whose vaccination status is unclear, or in a community where Covid cases are on the rise.
“The CDC needs to give these companies, these health authorities, a little coverage by clarifying the guidelines that they have out there,” said Dr. Adams.