President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci pushed for more vaccine mandates at a local level on Sunday after railing against GOP speculation pertaining to the doses.
“I have been of this opinion, and I remain of that opinion that I do believe at the local level, Jake, there should be more mandates,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN’s State of the Union. “There really should be. We’re talking about [a] life-and-death situation. We’ve lost 600,000 Americans already, and we’re still losing more people.”
The health authority claimed that because the coronavirus inoculations have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, requirements have yet to become mainstream, saying an FDA go-ahead would spurn “a lot more mandates” locally.
“This is serious business, so I am in favor of that,” he said. “You know, one of the things that will happen, and I think the hesitancy at the local level of doing mandates is because the vaccines have not been officially, fully approved, but people need to understand that the amount of data right now that shows a high degree of effectiveness and a high degree of safety is more than we’ve ever seen with emergency use authorization.”
Fauci took the time to call Republican vaccine hesitancy “horrifying” and “almost frightening” after he was shown a clip of a speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference held in Dallas on Friday, who remarked about how the federal government was unable to give shots to 90% of the United States population. The speaker’s comments were met with cheers from the audience.
“It’s horrifying, I mean, they’re cheering about someone saying that it’s a good thing for people not to try and save their lives,” Fauci said. “I mean, if you just unpack that for a second, Jake, it’s almost frightening to say, ‘Hey, guess what? We don’t want you to do something to save your life.’”
“I just don’t get that, and I don’t think that anybody who is thinking clearly can get that. What is that all about? I don’t understand that, Jake,” he added.
A total of 48% of people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated, while 55% have received at least one dose. The country has had a 59% uptick in cases over the last two weeks, with a 27% decline in deaths and a 5% jump in hospitalizations.
A new, highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant is present in all U.S. states and has quickly become the dominant strain in some parts of the country. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky on Thursday said the “rapid rise” of the variant “is troubling.”