On Tuesday, America’s top COVID-19 doctor, Anthony Fauci, said he supports local governments mandating that teachers get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Fauci said there wouldn’t be mandates coming from the federal level, but expressed support for state and local mandates.
Fauci made his remarks during an interview on MSNBC.
“I’m going to upset people on this, but I think we should [mandate teacher vaccinations],” Fauci said.
“I mean, we are in a critical situation now,” Fauci continued. “We have had 615,000 deaths and we are in a major surge now as we’re going into the fall, into the school season.”
“This is very serious business,” he added.
Fauci was asked about American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten’s comments over the weekend, in which she expressed support for vaccine mandates for teachers.
Weingarten said on “Meet The Press” on Sunday, “As a matter of personal conscience, I think that we need to be working with our employers, not opposing them on vaccine mandates.”
Weingarten added, “And so I said last week that I wanted to bring my leadership together, and we are this week to, you know, revisit and to reconsider our policy that we passed in October about voluntary — that the best way to do this was to do it volitionally.”
Weingarten and now Fauci’s comments come in the wake of cases of the delta variant of the virus increasing across the country.
Fauci and other leading public health officials have urged all eligible adults to get vaccinated against the virus to slow contagiousness as kids return to the classroom in the fall.
“You would wish that people would see why it’s so important for people to get vaccinated,” Fauci said on MSNBC.
“But you’re not going to get mandates, centrally, from the federal government,” Fauci added.
Responding to critics who oppose mandate requirements, Fauci said, “I’m sorry. I know people must like to have their individual freedom and not be told to do something.”
He finished, “But I think that we’re in such a serious situation now, that under certain circumstances, mandates should be done.”
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