Fauci: There should be more COVID-19 vaccine mandates at local level

Fauci: There should be more COVID-19 vaccine mandates at local level
© Greg Nash

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration 'Highest priority' is to vaccinate the unvaccinated, Fauci says Sunday shows - Boosters in the spotlight MORE said on Sunday that he believes there should be more mandates at the local level requiring people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I know you've been very clear that the government isn't mandating vaccines, but do you think it's generally a good idea for businesses or schools to require vaccinations?” CNN host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperYarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed Fauci on FDA advisers' booster recommendations: 'I don't think they made a mistake' Mississippi governor: Biden vaccine mandates an 'attack' on 'hard-working Americans' MORE asked Fauci on “State of the Union.”

“I have been of this opinion and I remain of that opinion that I do believe at the local level, Jake, there should be more mandates, there really should be. We’re talking about life and death situation. We've lost 600,000 Americans already, and we're still losing more people. There’ve been 4 million deaths worldwide. This is serious business,” Fauci said.

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The nation's leading infectious disease expert also said that he believes there’s more hesitancy at the local level to get the vaccines because they are under an emergency use authorization and have not been officially approved, but he predicted more mandates would be issued once they haves been fully approved.

“I think the hesitancy at the local level of doing mandates is because the vaccines have not been officially fully approved, but people need to understand that the amount of data right now that shows a high degree of effectiveness and a high degree of safety is more than we've ever seen with emergency use authorization,” he said.

“So people should really understand that, but they're waiting now until you get an official approval before and I think when you do see the official approval, Jake, you're going to see a lot more mandates,” he added.

Tapper also asked Fauci why the U.S. could not stop the pandemic, given that the U.S. has enough vaccines. 

“What is the problem with getting as many people as possible vaccinated to stop this pandemic in the United States?” the CNN host asked.

Fauci said in response that he believes that it is likely due to “inexplicable pushing back on the part of some people."

“Jake, I don't know, I mean I really don't have a good explanation, Jake about why this is happening. I mean it's ideological rigidity, I think, there's no reason not to get vaccinated. Why are we having red states and places in the south that are very highly ideological in one way, not wanting to get vaccinations? Vaccinations have nothing to do with politics,” he said. “It’s a public health issue.”