With the Delta variant ripping through the country and impacting the number of COVID-19 cases, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that "things will get worse."
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While Fauci does not believe there will be another lockdown like the country saw in 2020, he said to ABC News that there will still be a significant threat from the virus.
"I don't think we're gonna see lockdowns. I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country -- 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," Fauci told the outlet.
Concerns over the coronavirus have been discussed over the last week as outbreaks caused by the Delta Variant and low vaccination rates have increased.
"If you look at the acceleration of the number of cases, the seven-day average has gone up substantially. You know what we really need to do, Jon, we say it over and over again, and it's the truth -- we have 100 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not getting vaccinated. We are seeing an outbreak of the unvaccinated," Fauci said.
Fauci warned of the danger of not being vaccinated as most severe cases and even deaths come from people who are unvaccinated.
"From the standpoint of illness, hospitalization, suffering and death, the unvaccinated are much more vulnerable because the vaccinated are protected from severe illness, for the most part, but when you look at the country as a whole. And getting us back to normal, the unvaccinated, by not being vaccinated, are allowing the propagation and the spread of the outbreak which ultimately impacts everybody," Fauci said.
Research from an outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusetts, has indicated that the Delta variant may spread among fully vaccinated people. As a result, there have even been talks about possibly recommending citizens get a third shot to help protect them from the variant.
Researchers reveal that the virus in the noses of vaccinated people was the same as in an unvaccinated person. This has led the CDC to decide to bring mask guidelines back, no matter a person's vaccination status
"That has much more to do with transmission," Fauci said about the CDC's decision.
"You want them to wear a mask, so that if in fact they do get infected, they don't spread it to vulnerable people, perhaps in their own household, children, or people with underlying conditions," Fauci said.
The U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona shared a roadmap to return students to classrooms this fall. Part of that roadmap includes having students in masks. Some governors across the country have worked to pass legislation that will not allow for mask mandates. When it comes to those governors' decisions, Fauci isn't on board.
"I respectfully disagree with them," Fauci said. "The fact is, there are things that are individual responsibilities that one has. And there are things that have to do with you individually, which also impact others and get the spread of infection that we're seeing now -- the surge in cases, Jon, is impacting everyone in the country."
"So, in essence, you are encroaching on their individual rights because you're making them vulnerable. So you could argue that situation both ways," he added.