Anthony Fauci urged Americans to continue getting vaccinated as he warned about a dangerous new COVID variant becoming the dominant strain in the United States.
The White House chief medical adviser warned of the so-called ‘Delta’ variant, a strain first noticed in India.
Fauci said that the new Indian variant could overtake the highly-contagious UK variant, known as B117, during a White House COVID-19 task force briefing.
“We cannot let that happen in the United States, which is such a powerful argument … to get vaccinated,” he said.
“Fortunately, two doses of the Pfizer vaccine and AstraZeneca appear to be effective against the ‘Delta’ variant,” he explained.
Fauci’s push to get Americans vaccinated as a means to combat the new COVID variants comes as the Biden administration has been seeking to get 70 percent of Americans to receive at least one shot.
“We’re going to hit 70 percent of the population, the adult population, by the Fourth of July,” a confident Fauci predicted in an interview on Live! with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest.
The rate of daily vaccinations, however, has been on a downward trend, decreasing from an average of three million per day in April to less than 1.5 million per day currently.
TODAY host Savannah Guthrie asked CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky if the current pace is adequate to hit the president’s target or if a push is needed.
Walensky appeared to deflect, saying she anticipates the incentives will “meet [people] where they are.”
Fauci’s comments seem to indicate that yes, a push is needed.
It remains to be seen if Americans will accept the nudge to get vaccinated due to a new COVID variant based on Fauci’s advice, or if they have lost confidence in him based on recent revelations.
News reports have indicated the government is taking a theory that the pandemic began from a leak at a Wuhan lab much more seriously, a theory that Fauci downplayed for many months.
The news led to at least one lawmaker demanding he be compelled to testify to Congress about the origin of COVID.
Newly unearthed emails also show Fauci’s other opinions regarding COVID.
In one email, Fauci discusses surgical masks, the kind many Americans were wearing for over a year due to his advice, downplaying their effectiveness before recommending them as a primary measure against COVID.
In recent months, Fauci suggested wearing two masks was just “common sense.”
In another, he requests that a deputy of his review an attachment purportedly referencing Ralph Baric, a virologist based in the United States who collaborated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Fauci had testified that Baric is not involved in ‘gain of function’ research. The file was labeled: “Baric, Shi, et al — Nature Medicine — SARS Gain of Function.pdf.”
Prior to the slew of negative news, Fauci had already seen poll numbers relating to the confidence the American people have in him declining.
According to a Trafalgar Group poll in May, over 42 percent said their confidence in the infectious diseases expert had decreased from the previous year.
Perhaps advice on vaccination due to a more dangerous COVID variant should come from someone other than Fauci.
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