Dr. Anthony Fauci has raised the volume of his Covid-19 alarm bells, warning that vaccinated Americans should wear masks indoors, as local mandates force the unvaccinated to get jabbed if they want to participate in society.
“I don’t think you’re going to see a central mandate,” Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said in a CNBC interview on Wednesday. “I think there will be a reflex pushback on that.”
But what I do see in the future are local mandates, local businesses, local universities and colleges, so that if people want to do things and be able to participate in activities, they will get vaccinated.
"I don't think you're gonna see a central [vaccine] mandate," says Dr. Anthony Fauci. "But what I do see, in the future, are local mandates." pic.twitter.com/UbHKqIREvb
— CNBC's Closing Bell (@CNBCClosingBell) July 21, 2021
Fauci made his comments amid the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of Covid-19, which has prompted such local governments as Los Angeles County to reimpose mask mandates regardless of vaccination status. Contrary to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines suggesting that people who’ve been inoculated against the virus don’t need to wear face coverings, Fauci said vaccinated Americans should consider masking up indoors to guard against the Delta variant.
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“If you want to go the extra mile of safety, even though you’re vaccinated, when you’re indoors, particularly in crowded places, you might want to consider wearing a mask,” Fauci said. He added that rising Covid-19 infections in vaccinated people reflect the variant’s “extraordinary capability of transmitting from person to person.”
The Biden administration missed his target of having 70 percent of US adults vaccinated with at least their first dose by July 4. The current first-jab rate among adults is under 66%, and 57% are fully inoculated, according to CDC data. Among the entire American population, nearly 49% are fully vaccinated.
The Biden administration has repeatedly said that there are no plans to issue a federal mandate or introduce a centralized ‘vaccine passport’ scheme to access public places, but Fauci has increasingly agitated for municipalities, institutions and private entities to achieve the same effect through local requirements. He predicted earlier this month in a CNN interview that local mandates will become more common once Covid-19 vaccines have received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), rather than being distributed under emergency authorizations as is currently the case.
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