Fauci fears ‘anti-vaxxer attitude’ could cause outbreaks of non-COVID diseases

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Peter Afriyie
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, is seen during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing entitled, “Stopping the Spread of Monkeypox: Examining the Federal Response” on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said in a new interview that the “anti-vaxxer attitude” of some Americans risks causing non-COVID virus outbreaks in the U.S. 

 “I’m concerned the acceleration of an anti-vaxxer attitude in certain segments of the population . . . might spill over into that kind of a negative attitude towards childhood vaccinations,” Fauci told The Financial Times in an interview published Sunday

“If you fall back on vaccines against common vaccine-preventable childhood diseases, that’s where you wind up getting avoidable and unnecessary outbreaks,” Fauci added. 

Fauci, who announced his pending retirement from government last month, said political division is one factor driving anti-vaccine sentiment, noting how some states have not promoted COVID-19 vaccination and Congress has failed to advance billions of dollars in funding.

The World Health Organization released a report in July showing that vaccination among children declined more during the COVID-19 pandemic than at any time in the past 30 years.

Fauci’s remark comes after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) declared a state of emergency last week due to the spread of polio through wastewater, spurring the state to ramp up vaccinations against the virus.

The U.S.’s COVID-19 vaccination rate amongst adults is still at 67 percent, according to CDC data, but is well below other countries. 

Fauci also said in an interview with Bloomberg Law earlier this month that the U.S. should prepare for a bad flu season.

Tags Anthony Fauci Anthony Fauci anti-vaxxers Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CDC disease outbreaks Financial Times Flu season Kathy Hochul Polio Vaccine hesitancy

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