Fauci: US could see 200K daily COVID-19 cases in the fall

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

Chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci on Wednesday said the U.S. could see up to 200,000 daily COVID-19 cases in the fall.

“Remember, just a couple of months ago, we were having about 10,000 cases a day,” Fauci told McClatchy in an interview. “I think you’re likely going to wind up somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 cases.”

Fauci’s prediction comes as the U.S. is experiencing a surge in cases while health officials are struggling to convince individuals to get vaccinated.

“What we’re seeing, because of this increase in transmissibility, and because we have about 93 million people in this country who are eligible to get vaccinated who don’t get vaccinated — that you have a significant pool of vulnerable people,” Fauci said.

The infectious disease expert says he is concerned the high number of unvaccinated people could lead to a stronger variant emerging that could combat the vaccines that have been given out.

“If we don’t crush the outbreak to the point of getting the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated, then what will happen is the virus will continue to smolder through the fall into the winter, giving it ample chance to get a variant which, quite frankly, we’re very lucky that the vaccines that we have now do very well against the variants — particularly against severe illness,” Fauci said. “We’re very fortunate that that’s the case. There could be a variant that’s lingering out there that can push aside delta.”

Fauci told the outlet he is hopeful more individuals will get vaccinated once the Food and Drug Administration fully approves the coronavirus vaccines. The vaccines are only under emergency authorization currently.

The FDA is aiming to have the Pfizer vaccine fully approved by Labor Day, sources told The New York Times

The spike in cases has caused companies to implement vaccine requirements and mask mandates for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals indoors. 

Tags Anthony Fauci coronavirus vaccine COVID-19 Delta variant Vaccine hesitancy vaccine requirements
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