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Dr. Fauci Just Issued a New COVID Warning

Delta is threatening to cost lives.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Coronavirus cases are on the rise again in your state, as the Delta variant rips through unvaccinated people and threatens to spin-off more mutants. Concerned about the spread, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, offered a wake-up call warning on CNN. Read on for six pieces of essential advice given this whole new ballgame—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 That Delta Spreads "More Efficiently" From Person to Person

Waiter coughing into elbow while serving customers in a restaurant.

"This is a virus that has now shown us that it has a very strong capability of more efficiently spreading from person to person than the previous prototype viruses that we've experienced," Fauci told CNN's Kate Bolduan. "And for the unvaccinated, that means not only getting infected. That means some proportion of the people who are infected will get seriously ill, requiring hospitalizations—and in some cases, unfortunately—death," Fauci added.


Dr. Fauci Said We Can Expect More Deaths

Woman patient receives anesthetic in hospital

Fauci said those that are vaccinated are protected "very well – to the tune of 90% or more – against hospitalizations, severe disease and deaths," and that this has "held strong, regardless of where the study is – in the United States or in several foreign countries…So although you're dealing with a virus that because of this extreme capability of spreading from person to person, is causing more infections including breakthrough infections of vaccinated people, for those who are vaccinated, it's still doing very well against severe disease," he said. "Unfortunately, we can't say the same for unvaccinated people. … We can expect among the unvaccinated hospitalizations, and eventually in some situations, deaths," he added.


Dr. Fauci Said He Understood Why the Academy Would Recommend Universal Masking

Mother puts a safety mask on her son's face.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, one of the country's leading authorities on children's health, has recommended universal masking for anyone in school, regardless of their vaccination status. "There are many children and others who cannot be vaccinated," said Sara Bode, MD, FAAP, chair-person elect of the AAP Council on School Health Executive Committee. "This is why it's important to use every tool in our toolkit to safeguard children from COVID-19. Universal masking is one of those tools, and has been proven effective in protecting people against other respiratory diseases, as well. It's also the most effective strategy to create consistent messages and expectations among students without the added burden of needing to monitor everyone's vaccination status."

Regarding the American Academy of Pediatrics's universal mask advice, Fauci said "that's along the same lines as what we've seen with the health authorities in Los Angeles, which in the general population has said the same thing, that when you have a degree of viral dynamics in the community, and you have a substantial proportion of the population that is unvaccinated, that you really want to go the extra step, the extra mile to make sure that there's not a lot of transmission, even breakthrough infections among vaccinated individuals," he said. "And for that reason, you can understand why the American academy of pediatrics might want to do that. They just want to be extra safe."


Dr. Fauci Said the CDC Guidance Has Flexibility if You Want to Do More

Close-up view of a tablet pc with CDC abbreviation

"The CDC recommendations may be at variance with that, but in every respect, the CDC always leaves open the flexibility at the part of local agencies, local enterprises, local cities, and states to make a judgment call based on the situation on the ground," said Dr. Fauci. "So I think that the American Academy of Pediatrics, you know, they're a thoughtful group, they analyze the situation and if they feel that that's the way to go, I think that's a reasonable thing to do."

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Dr. Fauci Said the Real World is Acting Faster Than the Science, and Some Folks Want to Be Better Safe Than Sorry

Two friends with protective masks greet with waving to each other.Alternative greeting during quarantine to avoid physical contact

The CDC has said masks aren't necessary after vaccination. But Los Angeles and other counties are mandating masks for all. Confusing much? "If you look at the fundamental basis upon which CDC recommendations are made, they are invariably made on the basis of clinical studies and data that has been collected and analyzed," said Dr. Fauci. "And the decision is made on the basis of the data. Now, withstanding that in the real world, when you see trends occurring, before you can even get enough information to get a clinical trial or a clinical condition where you could say, based on these data, we're going to make a decision local authorities, understandably say, you know, we don't have all the data. We don't have the clinical trial data yet. The CDC is trying to collect that. And when they do, they'll come up with a firm recommendation, but in the meantime, we want to play it on the side of being more safe. That's an understandable human reaction to really wanting to be more safe rather than sorry." He said he understood why it could lead to confusion.

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How to Stay Safe Out There

Young man wearing two face masks.

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 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