- Dr. Fauci told CNN’S Anderson Cooper that he expected the virus to be under control by spring.
- But he said it depends on more Americans getting vaccinated against the virus.
- “Enough is enough,” Fauci said, endorsing vaccine mandates by major employers.
The US could have a handle on COVID-19 by spring 2022 if more Americans get vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’S Anderson Cooper that he’d misspoken when he told NPR it wouldn’t be until fall 2022 that the pandemic was under control.
But he said how fast the country gets back to a sense of normality lies in the hands of the 90 million Americans who have yet to get vaccinated.
More than 201.7 million people have gotten at least one dose of a vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.
Fauci said “it’s up to us” to get the virus under control.
“This is a very wily virus,” Fauci went on. “If we keep lingering without getting those people vaccinated that should be vaccinated, this thing could linger on, leading to the development of another variant, which could complicate things.”
He also offered strong backing to employers mandating vaccines following the US Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
“Some of the big corporations are going to say, ‘if you want to work for us in person, you’ve got to be there and get vaccinated,’ and I think that’s a good thing,” Fauci said.
“I respect people’s freedom, but when you’re talking about a public health crisis that we’ve been going through now for well over a year and a half, the time has come, enough is enough. We’ve just got to get people vaccinated.”
—Trish Regan (@trish_regan) August 24, 2021
Fauci and other health experts have previously warned that unvaccinated people were giving the virus a chance to mutate into a more dangerous variant than the circulating and more transmissible Delta variant.
“If you allow the virus to freely circulate and not try to stop it, sooner or later you there is a likelihood you will get another variant that could — I’m not saying it will — that could be more problematic than the Delta,” Fauci told NBC’s “Meet the Press” earlier this month.
“People who are unvaccinated should think about their own health, that of their family, but also the community responsibility to crush this virus before it gets even worse.”
Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in the US, especially in states with low vaccination rates. On Sunday, there were 43,222 new cases, according to CDC data.