Leading US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said the delta variant of the coronavirus is causing a significant spike in infections and the Biden government is “practically asking people to get vaccinated.”
Delta is much better able to spread from person to person than previous variants, Fauci said in an interview on Bloomberg TV’s “Balance of Power with David Westin,” emphasizing that vaccines can protect people from clinically significant diseases.
“When you are vaccinated you are highly protected from serious illnesses, while without vaccination you have a reasonable chance of getting into trouble,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. Gunfire offers far stronger protection against clinically overt disease than infection, he said.
Areas where vaccination rates are high see fewer new cases than those with lower vaccination rates, Fauci said. Daily U.S. vaccinations, which topped 3 million at its peak at the beginning of the campaign, have since declined. With increasing cases, he did not rule out additional mask requirements or other restrictions in the coming weeks.
“Everything is on the table,” said Fauci, not going into details. He noted that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children over the age of two wear masks in schools and all staff this fall. This position goes beyond the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The CDC isn’t here yet,” said Fauci, noting that the agency will likely reconsider its guidelines by the end of summer.
Robert Langreth story, Bloomberg News
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