The nation’s top infectious disease expert says Americans who don’t get a COVID-19 vaccine are making a ‘political statement.’
Fauci, the director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it was frustrating to see people not get a shot when it is available to them.
‘Here we have a vaccine that’s highly, highly effective in preventing disease and certainly in preventing severe disease and hospitalization. It’s easy to get. It’s free and it’s readily available,’ he said.
‘So, you know, you’ve got to ask, what is the problem? Get over it. Get over this political statement. Just get over it and try and save the lives of yourself and your family.’
It comes on the heels of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealing that the highly transmissible Indian ‘Delta’ variant is now the dominant strain of the virus in the U.S.
Dr Anthony Fauci told MSNBC on Wednesday (pictured) that not getting a vaccine is a ‘political statement’ and told unvaccinated Americans to ‘get over themselves’
It comes on the heels of news that the Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the U.S., making up 51.7% of cases. Some estimates suggest it could make up as many as 70% of new cases (above)
According to data updated on Tuesday evening, the variant, also known as B.1.617.2, makes up 51.7 percent of all new infections.
That’s up from the 26.1 percent of cases previously linked to the the variant, meaning its prevalence has nearly doubled in two weeks.
The Delta variant has been detected in all 50 states and accounts for more than 80 percent of new infections in Midwestern states such as Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.
About half of all states have been seeing COVID-19 cases increase as the variant spreads, a DailyMail.com analysis of Johns Hopkins data earlier this week found.
‘We should think about the Delta variant,’ Andy Slavitt, former White House senior advisor for COVID-19 response, told CNN on Wednesday.
‘It’s twice as infectious. Fortunately, unlike 2020, we actually have a tool that stops the Delta variant in its tracks: It’s called vaccine.’
Studies have shown that all three vaccines available in the U.S. – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – are effective against the variant.
Fauci added that getting vaccinated doesn’t just protect the people that get the shot but those around them as well.
‘Where there are high levels of vaccination, there’s low levels of infection, low hospitalization, and almost no deaths,’ he told MSNBC.
‘Where you have no vaccination, you have higher levels of infection, higher risk, and hospitalization. It’s not complicated, Chris…This is not complicated.
‘We’re not asking anybody to make any political statement one way or another. We’re saying: ‘Try and save your life, and that of your family, and that of the community.”
The Biden administration had set a goal of getting 70 percent of adults with at least one dose by July 4, but the threshold was missed.
President Biden has continued to urge Americans to get vaccinated, especially to prevent the spread of the Delta variant.
The commander-in-chief recently announced a plan of going door-to-door to vaccinate more people, which Fauci defended.
‘We’re not talking about the government knocking on your door,’ he said.
‘We’re talking about people who you can relate to in the community who you trust.’
As of Thursday, 67.2 percent of U.S. adults have received at least one dose and 58.4 percent are fully vaccinated, CDC data show.
Meanwhile, 55.1 percent of the entire population has been giving at least an initial shot and 47.6 percent have completed their vaccine series.
Slavitt also suggested to CNN that if the vaccines receive full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, instead of their current emergency use authorization, it might encourage more people to get immunized.