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Dr. Fauci Just Warned of "More Dangerous" COVID

The new Delta variant can cause severe damage if you’re not vaccinated.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

It's been a while since Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, came out with an all-out warning about the "dangerous" coronavirus. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been going down. But that could change, as a new variant, dubbed Delta, is "more dangerous." Read on for Dr. Fauci's big warning—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.


Dr. Fauci Warned of the Delta Variant

Chemist Adjusts Samples in a Petri Dish with Pincers and then Examines Them Under Microscope

The CDC has dubbed the Delta variant a "variant of concern." "Some studies have recently come out essentially documenting that indeed this particular variant does transmit significantly more readily between people and among people than the virus that is now the dominant virus, which is the Alpha variant, which is the one that's more dominant in the United States," Dr. Fauci told NPR. "In addition, very recent data, literally yesterday, the day before, shows that in fact it is a more dangerous virus in the sense that it can potentially make people more severely ill. So the combination of more transmissibility and greatest severity of disease appropriately prompted the CDC to elevate it to a variant of concern."


Dr. Fauci Said These People Are at Risk Bigtime

unrecognizable doctor trying to vaccinate its patient while she is refusing it.

"I'm not concerned about the people who were vaccinated because the good news about all this among the seriousness of the situation with regards to variant is that the vaccines work really quite well," said Dr. Fauci. "A recent study came out showing that against any clinical disease with 617, which is the Delta variant—that the efficacy or the effectiveness is somewhere close to 90%, 88, 89, 90% importantly, the protection against severe disease resulting in hospitalization and death is over 90%. So if you were vaccinated, you're going to be protected, which is another very good reason to encourage people strongly to get back sedated. Because if you are not vaccinated, you are at risk of getting infected with a virus that now spreads more rapidly and gives more serious disease." 


If You Live Here, You Are Also at Risk

Mobile, Alabama, USA skyline with historic Fort Conde.

"Right now, 51% of eligible peaceful people nationwide are fully vaccinated, but we're seeing people traveling. So could we see another surge?" asked the NPR reporter. "Well, not among vaccinated people," answered Fauci. "We have a disparity throughout the country. Certain states have low level. They will be at risk." Alabama has only 39% of the adult population fully vaccinated; Mississippi has the country's lowest rate. 


Dr. Fauci Said Just Look at What's Happening in the UK—We Don't Want That in America

Pair of doctors checking an inpatient in intensive care while wearing their biosecurity suits

"The Brits are having a very difficult time with this," said Dr. Fauci. "They have about 90 plus percent of their isolates or the Delta, about 10% of our isolates are Delta." They had to postpone their reopening plans. "We want to make sure we don't get into the same situation that people in the UK did."

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Dr. Fauci Said He Wasn't Sure How Long the Vaccine Lasts

Doctor holding syringe in hospital.

"We don't know for sure," said Dr. Fauci. "We certainly know that it's several months up to a year because people who have been vaccinated early on—original people who were vaccinated—seemed to continue to have protection. What we do is we monitor cohorts of people who have been in clinical trial, both the laboratory indication of durability of protection, as well as clinical indication. For example, if we start seeing breakthrough infections, there's a thing called 'correlate of immunity,' which is a laboratory test that you could follow that goes below a certain threshold. Then, you know, you're going to have to give someone a boost. So we're preparing to boost people, but we don't know at exactly what point we will have to do that, but we're giving, we're doing tests right now, clinical trials to determine various options for boosting people."


How to Stay Safe During the Pandemic

Middle aged employee fitting protective mask on her face

So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, 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.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek