Dr. Anthony Fauci noticed that there’s been a downturn in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths recently. That’s a good sign for the pandemic, even as the United States hit a new record of 700,000 deaths from COVID-19 at the end of last week.
But Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he doesn’t want the United States to let up its guard just yet.
- “If you look at the history ... of the different surges we’ve had, it’s come up, start to come down and then all of a sudden boom, come back up again,” he said. “As it’s coming down, we have within our capability, we can make this happen. Namely go down to a very, very low level, with vaccination and with mitigation.”
Fauci also told ABC’s “This Week” that the key way to keep the cases from rising is through vaccination. He said those who are unvaccinated can stop the next wave if they get their shots.
- “We certainly are turning the corner on this particular surge,” he told “This Week” over the weekend. “But we have experienced over now close to 20 months surges that go up and then come down, and then go back up again. The way to keep it down, to make that turnaround continue to go down, is to do what we mentioned: Get people vaccinated.”
He admitted there’s a “danger zone” where COVID-19 waves can creep up, highlighting the 70 million people who remained unvaccinated in the country.
- “When you have 70 million people in the country who are eligible to be vaccinated, who are not yet vaccinated, that’s the danger zone right there,” he added. “So it’s within our capability to make sure that that turnaround that we’re seeing — that very favorable and optimistic turnaround — continues to go down and doesn’t do what we’ve seen multiple times before, where it goes down and then it comes back up.”
Indeed, a number of hospitals have been preparing for another wave, especially with colder weather sending people inside, per The Associated Press. The fourth wave might have peaked, but there could be another rise, especially among those who are unvaccinated.
“If you’re not vaccinated or have protection from natural infection, this virus will find you,” he said.