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A dangerous COVID-19 surge could be coming, Dr. Fauci says

Coronavirus cases continue to climb across the country and a lack of vaccinations could create a new surge

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks to Congress on Capitol Hill.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, pauses while speaking during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Washington. Fauci warned Sunday that a “dangerous” new COVID-19 surge could hit the United States from the upcoming holiday season unless the population acts.
Alex Brandon, Associated Press

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Sunday that a “dangerous” new COVID-19 surge could hit the United States from the upcoming holiday season unless the population acts.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that people need to get vaccinated in order to avoid a winter surge.

  • “We still have about 60 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who have not been, and that results in the dynamic of virus in the community that not only is dangerous and makes people who are unvaccinated vulnerable, but it also spills over into the vaccinated people,” he said.
  • “We have a lot of virus circulating around. You can’t walk away from the data, and the data show that the cases are starting to go up, which is not unexpected when you get into a winter season. People start to go indoors more and we know that immunity does wane over time,” he added.

Fauci said the vaccinated people can spread the coronavirus to others. Or they might face breakthrough infections from not getting their COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

Last week, Fauci said in an interview at the Reuters Total Health conference that COVID-19 could become endemic — a regional sickness that infects people to some degree — if more people get vaccinated, The Guardian reports.

  • “To me, if you want to get to endemic, you have got to get the level of infection so low that it does not have an impact on society, on your life, on your economy,” Fauci said.
  • “People will still get infected. People might still get hospitalized, but the level would be so low that we don’t think about it all the time and it doesn’t influence what we do.”

Fauci is advising people to get the coronavirus vaccine quickly to avoid more spread during the holiday season, as I wrote for the Deseret News. Getting the vaccine can help the U.S. reach the pandemic endgame and bring back normality, he said.