Though controversial, vaccine mandates are becoming the “new normal” in places like New York City and Dr. Anthony Fauci now says Americans can expect a “flood” of vaccine mandates from localities and private businesses, especially once the vaccine is cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.
The federal government will not impose vaccine mandates, but once the vaccines clear the FDA hurdles, Fauci predicts that places that have been reluctant to impose mandates will be “emboldened” to do so.
“Organizations, enterprises, universities, colleges that have been reluctant to mandate at the local level will feel much more confident,” Fauci said in a discussion with USA Today’s Editorial Board.
For those who remain hesitant about the vaccine, the federal government’s refrain from mandates won’t mean much as some, including Democratic lawmakers, push private businesses and companies to mandate vaccinations just about everywhere and for everything.
“They can say, ‘If you want to come to this college or this university, you’ve got to get vaccinated. If you want to work in this plant, you have to get vaccinated. If you want to work in this enterprise, you’ve got to get vaccinated. If you want to work in this hospital, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” Fauci explained.
As for children who are ineligible to receive the vaccine, Fauci said every adult at school must be vaccinated to protect young students. Those students should also be required to wear masks for their entire school day.
“I would rather have a child be a little bit uncomfortable with a mask on and be healthy than a comfortable child without a mask in an ICU. It just doesn’t make any sense to me why you would want to not protect the children,” Fauci posited, completely glossing over parents’ freedom to make decisions based on what they think is best for their own child.
The doctor has been accused countless times of politicizing the crisis. One focus group of vaccine hesitant people said they wanted to here from “anyone besides him“. Fauci told USA Today that we’re living in a “dystopian world” and that the public “are being misled.”
He echoed the talking point that has been beaten into Americans’ psyche lately– that as coronavirus cases rise thanks to the Delta variant, this has become a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
Unlike the previous variants and surges that primarily affected the older population, Fauci explained that it is now the younger population who is primarily being impacted, “When you walk into a hospital, what you’re going to see is a lot of young people, some of whom are seriously ill, but you’re not seeing an overwhelming outstripping of the capability of the hospitals throughout the country,” he told USA Today.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that over 70 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine and fifty percent of the population is now fully vaccinated.
One positive outcome stemming from the vaccine is the unlikely return to lockdown measures. According to Fauci, “The rationale for shutting down was that the hospital system would not be able to handle the surge of cases because everybody was getting sick.”
Even so, despite the uptick in vaccinations, Fauci predicts without a 100 percent vaccination rate, the world will be in this for the long haul, an outcome Republican lawmakers and conservative Americans have fretted since the first lockdown. Fauci maintains that unless the virus is stopped everywhere, it will continue to mutate and could come back in a form that can evade current vaccines.
“If we’re protected against measles here and there are a million cases of measles in Afghanistan or in India or in Uganda or in Kenya and somebody comes over here, it almost doesn’t matter. But if we’re protected against one group of (COVID-19) variants and a bizarre variant emerges somewhere in a low- or middle-income country, then we’re vulnerable,” Fauci stated.
While he may be a doctor, Fauci does not understand what motivates Americans in their decision to receive or not receive the vaccine.
“The reason to get vaccinated is not so that you can go around without wearing a mask. The reason is because we don’t want you to wind up in the ICU. And I can guarantee you 99% that if you get vaccinated, you are not going to wind up in the ICU,” Fauci fervently explained.
The elimination of mask and social distancing mandates represents a return to normalcy that most Americans crave. Transparency and an openness to addressing questions or concerns from the vaccine hesitant could also boost vaccination rates.
Fauci, however, seems to enjoy his role as the arbiter of coronavirus information and the power and notoriety that comes with it too much to loosen the hold he has on the country just yet.
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