Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, also said he is not planning additional lockdowns in the United States because he believes enough people are vaccinated to prevent a recurrence last winter.
However, he said there was not enough vaccine to “crush the epidemic” at this point.
Fauci’s warning comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course to recommend that even vaccinated people resume wearing masks indoors in parts of the United States where the delta variant feeds into them. outbreaks of infection. With the change, federal health officials cited studies showing that vaccinated people can pass the virus on to others.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to unveil updated guidelines on masks for fully vaccinated people as early as Monday. The state is experiencing nearly three-month highs in terms of daily COVID cases as the prevalence of the delta variant skyrockets. Meanwhile, the list of Olympic athletes testing positive for COVID continues to skyrocket.
An internal slide show from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention argues that “the war has changed” against COVID-19.
Most new infections in the United States continue to involve unvaccinated people. So-called breakthrough infections can occur in people who are vaccinated, and while the vast majority of them cause mild or no symptoms, research shows they can carry the same amount of coronavirus as those who don’t. have not received the vaccines.
“So we are looking, not, I believe, to lock down, but we are looking for pain and suffering in the future because we see the cases increasing, which is why we keep repeating, the solution to that is to get the vaccine and that wouldn’t happen, ”Fauci told ABC’s“ This Week ”.
According to data up to July 30 from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day moving average for daily new cases in the United States rose from 30,887 on July 16 to 77,827 on July 30. The seven-day moving average for new daily deaths in the country increased by more than the same period from 253 on July 16 to 358 on July 30, although death reports are typically delayed weeks after infections and even longer. long after hospitalizations.
Currently, 58% of Americans 12 and older are fully immunized, according to the CDC data tracker.
However, people “get the message” and more and more are rolling up their sleeves in the face of the threat of the delta variant, according to the director of the National Institutes of Health. Dr Francis Collins told CNN’s “State of the Union” that vaccinations have increased 56% in the United States in the past two weeks.
Louisiana, which has the most new cases per capita among states over the past 14 days, has seen vaccinations triple during that time, Collins said.
“That’s what desperately needs to happen if we’re going to put this delta variant back in its place, because right now it’s having a pretty big party in the middle of the country,” Collins said.
Collins also said that even with the prevalence of the delta variant, the injections worked “extremely well” and reduced a person’s risk of serious illness and hospitalization “by 25”. Advice for vaccinated people to resume wearing masks indoors in some places where outbreaks worsen, he said, are primarily aimed at protecting unvaccinated and immunocompromised people.
The CDC has also recommended an indoor mask be worn for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools nationwide, regardless of their immunization status.