National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that things were “going to get worse” as the Delta variant pushes a surge of COVID-19 cases in the United States. Anchor Jon

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that things were “going to get worse” as the Delta variant pushes a surge of COVID-19 cases in the United States.

Anchor Jon Karl said, “Help me understand. Are we headed towards a period once again where we’re going to see lockdowns, businesses shutting down, masks routine for everybody, or is this — or is this potentially just a temporary setback?”

Fauci said,  Jon, I don’t think we’re going to see lockdowns. I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country, not enough to crush the outbreak, but I believe enough to not allow us to get into the situation we were in last winter.

He continued, “But things are going to get worse. If you look at the acceleration of the number of cases, the seven-day average has gone up substantially. You know, what we really need to do, Jon — we say it over and over again, and it’s the truth — we have 100 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not getting vaccinated. We are seeing an outbreak of the unvaccinated. There are some breakthrough infections among vaccinated. You’d expect that because no vaccine is 100 percent effective. But in the breakthrough infections, they are mostly mild or without symptoms, whereas the unvaccinated, who have a much, much, much greater chance of getting infected in the first place, are the ones that are vulnerable to getting severe illness that might lead to hospitalization and, in some cases, death.”

Fauci added, “So, we’re looking not, I believe, to lockdown, but we’re looking to some pain and suffering in the future because we’re seeing the cases go up, which is the reason why we keep saying over and over again the solution to this is get vaccinated, and this would not be happening.”

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Pam Key