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Dr. Fauci Just Said COVID Could Get a Whole Lot Worse

The infectious disease expert is concerned about the newest variants.
FACT CHECKED BY Checkmark Emilia Paluszek
Doctor Anthony Fauci

COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths are on a downward trend. While this is certainly good news, it doesn’t by any means signify that the United States is out of the woods quite yet. During a Tuesday interview with the Missoulian, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, revealed that there is a good chance cases will rise once again. Read on to find out what he had to say—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Warns “This Variant Situation is Dominating the Picture”

While he acknowledges that cases are dropping, he is concerned that the newest, more transmissible variants could have a devastating impact. “The number of cases is diminishing on a rather steep downward trajectory right now,” Fauci said. “That can turn around and go the wrong direction if we have a predominance of a virus that has a better degree of transmissibility. This variant situation is dominating the picture a bit.”

He added that our best hope in combating the virus is via vaccination and public health measures, pointing out that it is “a constant battle of persuasion” to press the value of mask-wearing or vaccine participation on the general public. 

“But when you have a degree of vaccine hesitancy in the general community — people who are vaccine denialists or skeptical or hesitant — we don’t have any good mechanism to get the general public vaccinated,” he said. “You can do that in schools or hospitals. Elsewhere that’s really a problem.”

And, for the vaccine to really be able to work its magic, the majority of the population will need to get it. “The only way we’re going to get our arms around this outbreak — the only way to get enough people vaccinated to establish herd immunity — is if 75 to 80 percent of the country gets vaccinated," he said. "If you have a degree of vaccine hesitancy, that’s not going to happen.”

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

How to Stay Healthy During This Pandemic

So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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