Dr. Fauci fears a variant worse than Delta is on the horizon because of unvaccinated Americans.
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Fauci told McClatchy on Wednesday that the country could be “in trouble” going into the fall season unless more Americans get vaccinated for Covid.
“What we’re seeing, because of this increase in transmissibility, and because we have about 93 million people in this country who are eligible to get vaccinated who don’t get vaccinated — that you have a significant pool of vulnerable people,” Fauci told McClatchy’s DC bureau.
Coronavirus cases driven by the delta variant are rising in a “very steep fashion” across the United States and may double in the coming weeks to 200,000 cases a day, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday.
Despite the extraordinary contagiousness of the delta variant, it can still get worse, Fauci said.
He fears the virus is being given “ample” opportunity to morph even further into a deadlier strain that could diminish the effectiveness of vaccines. Continued spread provides the virus more opportunities to mutate, he said.
“If we don’t crush the outbreak to the point of getting the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated, then what will happen is the virus will continue to smolder through the fall into the winter, giving it ample chance to get a variant which, quite frankly, we’re very lucky that the vaccines that we have now do very well against the variants — particularly against severe illness,” Fauci said. “We’re very fortunate that that’s the case. There could be a variant that’s lingering out there that can push aside delta.
“If another one comes along that has an equally high capability of transmitting but also is much more severe, then we could really be in trouble,” he said. “People who are not getting vaccinated mistakenly think it’s only about them. But it isn’t. It’s about everybody else, also.”