‘We’re still in pandemic mode’: Fauci warns in timely interview COVID-19 nowhere near under control

In what proved to be a timely interview, White House chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci warned Thursday that COVID-19 is nowhere near under control in America.

The declaration coming the same day President Joe Biden gave a “scolding grandpa” speech announcing “new steps” in the fight against the virus that turned out to be an all-out assault on the unvaccinated, which included a potentially unconstitutional mandate for companies with 100 or more employees.

While Biden vowed last year to “shut down” the virus, Fauci said current results are “not even modestly good control.”

“The endgame is to suppress the virus. Right now, we’re still in pandemic mode, because we have 160,000 new infections a day,” Fauci told Axios. “That’s not even modestly good control … which means it’s a public health threat.”

“In a country our size, you can’t be hanging around and having 100,000 infections a day,” the infectious disease expert added. “You’ve got to get well below 10,000 before you start feeling comfortable.”

According to Fauci, Americans are getting infected with the virus at 10 times the rate needed to end the pandemic, with the solution being more vaccinations.

As of Sept. 9, the daily average number of new cases in the U.S. fell slightly below 148,000, The Hill reported. This is a 5% decrease over a 14-day period. Meanwhile, approximately 53% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated while 63% have received at least one dose.

And while breakthrough infections are prevalent, Fauci seemed to acknowledge that vaccines don’t offer immunity, telling Axios that “you’ll still get some people getting infected, but you’re not going to have it as a public health threat.”

Still, Fauci believes current vaccinations are still effective and the real problem is not enough Americans taking measures against the Delta variant, Axios reported, before warning of a “monster variant” if we don’t act in time.

According to Biden, 80 million Americans remain unvaccinated — how many of this number are children below 12 is unclear.

“Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated, even though the vaccine is safe, effective, and free,” the president stated Thursday from the White House, adding, “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin.”

“We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated coworkers,” he said at one point, having a harsher tone toward the unvaccinated Americans than he did for the Taliban.

“This was a ‘scolding grandpa’ speech that will do nothing to convince people who don’t want to get vaccinated. Using his power to force businesses to force vaccination will probably work, but doing it this way will only confirm the caricature from the far right of the president as a tyrant,” said Matthew Schmidt, a University of New Haven associate professor of national security and political science.

Fauci was quick to push back against the fun on display during the opening weekend of college football.

In what essentially served as a middle finger to COVID-19 fearmongers, tens of thousands of fans packed stadiums around the country last weekend with masks being few and far between.

Appearing on CNN on Tuesday, Fauci was asked about crowded stadiums amid the pandemic, and he not only advocated for vaccine mandates, he predicted it.

“We could be stuck in outbreak mode, and that’s why I think what you’re going to be seeing — in addition to the fact that people are getting voluntarily vaccinated now on a more and more basis, as you said, we have been a couple of days even over a million per day — I think you’re going to see a lot more local mandates,” he said.

“I think there are going to be organizations, there are going to be universities, there are going to be colleges, there are going to be sports events, travel events, where the rule is going to be, if you want to participate, you get vaccinated. If not, sorry, you’re not going to be able to do it,” Fauci continued. “And I think when we get more and more of that, I think we’re going to start seeing a great diminution in the number of cases.”

Tom Tillison

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