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Dr. Fauci Warns This "Nightmare Scenario" May Happen

“You don't want people to become complacent. We still have a long way to go.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Dr. Anthony Fauci

"The mutants are here." Those chilling words, out of a sci-fi movie, were actually spoken by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He was talking about the coronavirus variants—at least seven total—that are proving more transmissible, and more lethal. One came from the UK, another from South Africa; some were born right here in the USA. Fauci appeared on Axios on HBO last night to discuss the threat they pose. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Said the "Nightmare Scenario" is That We Get Walloped By the Variants

Fauci was asked about the challenges ahead. Despite coronavirus cases dropping, and vaccines being distributed, we are racing against these mutants. "January and December were the two worst months we've had in the entire year," said Dr. Fauci, looking back. "And the number of cases were between 300 and 400,000 per day. The number of deaths were between 3 and 4,000 per day. That's stunning to have that amount of suffering and death with any disease. It's historic quite frankly, worse than anything we've had in 102 years. But we're also going to be challenged by the appearance of variants or mutants that have appeared, some of which have a functional influence on how we want to respond to that. Fortunately, others are well covered by the vaccine, but not all of them."

"Is that the nightmare scenario, basically, that the variants surpass the vaccine, that people stopped taking COVID seriously because they see the numbers come down and they get walloped with a variant that isn't as easy to manage," asked Margaret Talev, the Axios reporter.

"That is a possibility. You don't want people to become complacent. We still have a long way to go. And even though things are going in the right direction, we still might have a stumbling block coming with the appearance of variants that would dominate the picture."

How to Stay Safe During This Pandemic

Fauci has said the best way to prevent these mutants from spreading is to follow the public health mitigation measures and to get vaccinated. To that end, Talev asked him how people can act after they've gotten their two vaccine shots. "A guideline came out from the CDC just yesterday that if a person is vaccinated and then for the next three months, if they come into contact with someone who is documented to be infected, they don't have to go into quarantine the way we used to have to do it," answered Fauci. "What about two people who are fully vaccinated? What kind of activity can they have? Do they still need to wear masks around each other? Can they hug? Can I have my daughter come down from Boston, who I haven't seen in a very long time? Can I sit down and have a dinner with her without worrying about spreading infection? Can I give her a big hug the way I'd like to? I think the answer ultimately will likely be yes to that, but I think we'll wait to see what the recommendations show."

Until then, 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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