Fauci: Immigrants 'absolutely not' driving coronavirus infections in US

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, the nation's leading infectious diseases specialist, is swatting down the suggestion that a recent surge of immigrants into the United States is driving coronavirus infection rates nationwide.  

"This is not driven by immigrants," Fauci said Sunday during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union."

"This is the problem within our country, the same way it’s a problem with other countries throughout the world," he said. "The idea, when you have 700,000 Americans dead and millions and millions and millions of Americans getting infected, you don’t want to look outside to the problem."

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The cause of COVID-19 infection rates, Fauci said, "is within our own country." 

"Certainly, immigrants can get infected, but they’re not the driving force of this," he added. "Let’s face reality here." 

A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found a majority of Republicans attribute recent surges of the coronavirus, including the highly contagious delta variant, to immigrants and tourists coming from other countries into the United States. 

The same poll found Democrats are more likely to see individuals refusing a COVID-19 vaccine and not taking enough precautions as responsible for the current surge in coronavirus cases. 

Fauci, like other public health officials, has previously said low vaccination rates in certain sections of the country are harming the nation's recovery from the pandemic. 

"Focusing on immigrants, expelling them is not the solution to an outbreak," he said on Sunday.