Dr. Anthony Fauci is once again warning of a potential surge in COVID-19 cases as more states end their pandemic restrictions, as he pressed former President Donald Trump to encourage his supporters to get vaccinated.
In an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Fauci pointed to new surges in cases across the European Union, which he said was an indication of where the United States is headed.
Europe “always seem to be a few weeks ahead of us,” he said, adding that now is “absolutely no time to declare victory.”
“They thought they were home free, and they weren’t, and now they are seeing cases going up,” Fauci noted further.
Earlier this month states, led by Texas and Mississippi, began to reopen after roughly a year of having imposed some level of coronavirus restrictions. Fauci immediately advised them not to relax measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, and keeping crowds to a minimum in businesses and in public.
“You see the curve of the infections per day coming down. But over the last seven days or so we have reached a bit of plateau where the deflection isn’t going straight down the way it was. That’s a bad sign. We’ve seen that before,” he told MSNBC.
He said the same pattern occurred last summer when some governors relaxed restrictions.
“And as you know there was variable adherence to the guidelines. And then we had that really big surge that we don’t want to repeat now,” Fauci said. “I mean, we’re going in the right direction. Now is the time to keep the foot on the accelerator and not pull off because the thing that we don’t want is yet again another surge.”
When Wallace asked Fauci what might be done to push back against resistance to vaccines, especially among Republican men, he said Trump should step up and recommend them.
“It would be very helpful for the effort for that to happen. I’m very surprised by the number of Republicans who say they won’t get vaccinated,” Fauci said. “He’s a widely popular person among Republicans. I just don’t get it Chris, why they don’t want to get vaccinated.”
In a separate interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Fauci repeated his criticism of those who refuse to get vaccinated.
“We’ve got to dissociate political persuasion from what’s common sense, no-brainer public health things,” he said. “[Vaccines have] rescued us from smallpox, from polio, from measles,” Fauci, who is the country’s lead immunologist as well as the chief medical adviser to President Biden, added. “What is the problem here?”
Many Republicans have expressed skepticism of the vaccine because they don’t trust Fauci after a year’s worth of contradictions and outright lies regarding the pandemic.
Initially, Fauci told Americans not to wear masks because they were unhelpful. Later, he said he offered that recommendation so there would not be a rush on masks and other personal protective equipment by the public that was in short supply at the time and needed by frontline medical personnel.
Also, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released earlier this month found that wearing masks had only a minimal effect on preventing COVID-19 deaths, if at all.
“Mask mandates were associated with a 0.7 percentage point [emphasis added] decrease…in daily COVID-19 death growth rates 1–20 days after implementation and decreases of 1.0, 1.4, 1.6, and 1.9 percentage points 21–40, 41–60, 61–80, and 81–100 days, respectively, after implementation,” an abstract of the study noted.
Federal guidelines per the CDC continue to push mask-wearing in public.
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