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Fauci: US unlikely to return to lockdowns

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, arrives to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Tuesday, July 20, 2021
New York Times/Pool

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said on Sunday that he does not think the United States will return to lockdowns, even as the number of coronavirus cases in the country spikes largely because of the highly infectious delta variant.

“I don’t think we’re going to 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 told host Jon Karl on ABC’s “This Week.”

He did, however, say “things are going to get worse,” before contending that the country is “seeing an outbreak of the unvaccinated.”

“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,” he said.

Fauci added that there will likely be “some pain and suffering in the future.”

“We’re looking, not, I believe, to lockdown, 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,” he said.

The number of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. has crept up in recent weeks largely because of the delta variant, which is now the dominant strain in the U.S. The cases, however, have mainly infiltrated individuals who are not yet inoculated.

More than 164.4 million people in the U.S. have been vaccinated against COVID-19, which is equivalent to 49.5 percent of the total population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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