Dr. Fauci Just Called This State "One of the Worst"
In Florida, most counties are reporting COVID cases four times higher than last year, representing 20% of infections across the United States—right as the school year is starting. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with Tampa Bay 10 about the dangers the state is in—but considered it a warning for us all. Read on for 9 pieces of his essential advice—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 Said Florida is "One of the Worst"
Dr. Fauci said Florida is "having a very difficult situation because of the low level of vaccination…not only in Florida, but in some of the other states," said Dr. Fauci. "Florida is really one of the worst in the sense of the number of new cases. And now the number of hospitalizations, as we've said often, that this is fundamentally an outbreak, a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and given the relative, lower level of vaccinations in Florida, compared to some of the other states, you're much more vulnerable in Florida. Over the past week, you have about an 84% increase in cases and about 110% increase in hospitalization. That's really bad news. I mean, obviously you don't want to see that, but that's going on. It's a very, very difficult situation"
Dr. Fauci Called the Delta Variant "A Very Formidable Virus"
"You're dealing with a very formidable virus, one that transmits very readily from person to person, and you don't want to get people infected and you don't want to get people hospitalized," said Dr. Fauci. "And the best way to counter that is by getting vaccinated, vaccinating as many people as you possibly can. And in situations in which people aren't vaccinated, particularly in indoor settings, they should be wearing masks. Masks are a good way to protect if you are not vaccinated. And even if you aren't vaccinated, they can an increased level of protection."
Dr. Fauci Said This Increase is Not Seasonal
"That's just not the case," said Fauci to those who blame the increase on it being "seasonal." "We've seen that so many times in the past, we now have a year and a half and more experience with this. We have global experiences in countries that have their winter and a not summer and all summer and their winter. And this is a virus that really doesn't know much about seasons. Now, obviously outdoors is much better than indoors in the sense of transmission of a respiratory virus. It's much safer to do things outdoors, but when you have very hot weather and people go inside with air conditions, that kind of obviates the outdoor aspect of that. So we are not seeing something that we could say, well, this is just seasonal. It's going to go away. This is summer, it's bad. We're going to go into the fall and it could be bad in the fall unless we get more people vaccinated."
Dr. Fauci Said Delta Was "More Severe" and More Kids Were Getting Sick
"We don't yet have the full studies," about whether or not Delta makes kids sicker than previous variants, "but all you need to do, which is we've done is to go to some representative children's hospitals throughout the country, particularly in those areas where there is severely hit with additional cases, additional hospitalizations, and virtually all of the pediatricians, the hospitalists are telling you that you're having more children and the children are appear to be sicker. So we know now from some studies, some observational studies from different countries, particularly a rather good study from Canada that indicates that in addition to spreading much more efficiently, it appears that it makes disease more severe by the increase in hospitalizations that they're seeing at any age, not only children, but at any age."
Dr. Fauci Said Children Too Young to Be Vaccinated Are in Danger
"I'm quite concerned," said Dr. Fauci of the rise in pediatric hospitalizations. "I mean, we want to protect everyone, but particularly vulnerable children who don't have the opportunity to get vaccinated because the vaccines are not yet available for children 12 years old and younger, but we're also seeing a low level of vaccination among adolescents and others, kids 12 to 18, who are able to get vaccinated. Their vaccination rate is really quite low. The vaccination rate for the entire state of Florida is below where we'd like it to be. There's a solution to this problem. And the solution is getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as you possibly can."
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, 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.