There is no doubt that the United States has underestimated the death toll from Covid-19, which now stands at more than 581,000, said senior medical adviser to President Joe Biden.
But Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” show that a Washington University an analysis published on May 6 according to which the true balance is probably higher than 900,000, it is “a little more than what I would have thought”.
“Sometimes the models are right online, sometimes they are a bit out of step, ”he said.
With the rate of vaccination slowing in the United States, Fauci said the use of “trusted messengers” would be an important way to overcome reluctance in some communities and move the country closer to a vaccination rate of 80. %.
“They could be sports figures, entertainment figures, the clergy or your family doctor,” he said.
He spoke hours after celebrities from Prince Harry to Jennifer Lopez appeared on television and streaming special about the importance of vaccines. Biden and the first lady also recorded remarks for the event, as did Pope Francis.
Over the past week, an average of 1.98 million doses of the vaccine were administered in the United States, each day, up from about 3.3 million per day in mid-April. Vaccine rates vary widely from state to state, with those given a first dose ranging from 60% in Vermont to 32% in Mississippi.
The wider use of walk-in clinics or pharmacies is another major strategy to “get that last group of people who seem recalcitrant,” Fauci said, easing the process.
“We have 40,000 pharmacies where you can just walk in, no computer, no online, no appointment, just walk in and get vaccinated. As well as the mobile units coming out, “Fauci said in a separate ABC” This Week “interview.
Some 45.6% of the total U.S. population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker.
If the United States hits Biden’s current target of 70% or more people having at least one shot by July 4, “you might see some blips, but if we manage them well, it’s unlikely that you were seeing the kind of outbreak that we have seen. in late fall and early winter, ”he said.
With 58% of adults in the United States covered by at least one shot, and daily cases dropping significantly, “I would say we are turning the corner,” said Jeffrey Zients, the Covid-response coordinator. 19 of the White House, on “State of the Union. ”
“We have a path ahead of us which will involve even easier access to the vaccine,” Zients added.
Reaching Biden’s 70% mark will amplify “a downward trend in cases, hospitalizations and deaths and bring us back to a sustainable low,” he said.
Another important step will be the decision of the United States Food and Drug Administration whether or not to grant the Pfizer Inc./BioNTech shot authorization for use in children 12 to 15 years of age. This movement could come within days, Fauci said last week.
– With the help of Benjamin Bain
(Updates with Zients comments from the 12th paragraph.)