Fauci says 'things are going to get worse' as delta variant pushes surge

Chief White House medical adviser Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFDA advisory panel scheduled to discuss Merck COVID-19 antiviral pill Feehery: Build back bipartisan Overnight Health Care — Presented by The National Council on Mental Wellbeing — Merck asks FDA to authorize five-day COVID-19 treatment MORE on Sunday warned that "things are going to get worse" and that the U.S. will likely see more "pain and suffering" as the more infectious delta variant drives a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Host Jonathan Karl on ABC's "This Week" asked Fauci if the U.S. would see a return to lockdown conditions that were seen last year or if this surge is just a "temporary setback."

"John, 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," Fauci said.

However, Fauci bemoaned how quickly the seven-day average in new cases has gone up, noting that around 100 million people in the U.S. who are eligible for vaccination have yet to be immunized.

"We are seeing an outbreak of the unvaccinated," Fauci said, repeating the oft-stated assessment that health experts and lawmakers have made of the latest surge.

He stressed that although breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals are being seen, they are to be expected, as no vaccine is 100 percent effective.

"We're looking not, I believe, to lock down, but we're looking to some pain and suffering in the future because we're seeing the cases go up, which is the reason why we keep saying over and over again, 'The solution to this is get vaccinated, and this would not be happening,'" Fauci said.