Dr. Fauci Addresses Anti-Vaxxers as U.S. Fell Short of President Joe Biden's Vaccine Benchmark
White House top medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci encouraged the anti-vaxxers to take the COVID-19 vaccine, urging them to set aside their anti-science ideologies, during an interview on Sunday. Dr. Fauci's comments came as the United States fell short of President Joe Biden's vaccine benchmark, which aimed to administer at least one shot of COVID vaccines to 70 percent of American adults by the fourth of July, according to a report from Newsweek.
Gov. Jim Justice Says Vaccine-Hessitant People on 'Death Lottery'
Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), also assured that the U.S. has the tools to counter the historic situation caused by the pandemic.
"So for goodness sake, put aside all of those differences and realize the common enemy is the virus," Dr. Fauci said, underscoring that they have a "highly effective tool" against SARS-CoV-2.
In the wake of U.S. falling short on President Joe Biden's 70 percent benchmark, Dr. Fauci also warned areas with low vaccination rates to expect a surge in COVID cases caused by the Delta variant, especially regions, counties or states with "35 percent or less" of vaccination rates among individuals.
"We in this country are very fortunate, we have enough vaccines to vaccinate essentially everybody in this country," Dr. Fauci said, urging anti-vaxxers to get vaccinated and put an end to the "tragedy" the U.S. is facing.
Apart from Dr. Fauci, some politicians also addressed the vaccine-hesitant people. Governor Jim Justice from West Virginia noted that anti-vaxxers or vaccine-hesitant people are in a "lottery of death," ABC News reported.
"Well you've got another lottery going on, and it's the death lottery," Justice said, as West Virginia continued to incentivize people who get vaccinated.
Justice's comments came as West Virginia only garnered about 56.1 percent of adults who have at least a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. Governor Justice also acknowledged that their state was having a hard time vaccinating younger people.
Dr. Fauci Says Vaccinated People Should Wear Face Masks
Dr. Anthony Fauci also encouraged vaccinated people to wear their masks when traveling to areas with low vaccination rates, New York Post reported.
Dr. Fauci noted that vaccinated people should be cautious enough to make sure that they get the "extra added level of protection" although vaccines themselves are effective. Dr. Fauci reiterated in the interview that although vaccines are highly effective against the virus, they do not offer 100 percent protection, that is why wearing face masks is important.
Dr. Fauci's comments echoed the recommendation of the World health organization (WHO) about wearing face masks regardless of the vaccine status, due to the emergence of the Delta COVID variant. The organization's assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products, Mariangela Simao, said that people need to continue wearing face masks "consistently" as well as continue observing the health protocols such as social distancing and washing of hands.
WATCH: Fauci On How Anti-Vaxxers Will Affect What Happens Once We Have A COVID-19 Vaccine - From FiveThirtyEight
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