Leading American infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that the country is “truly at a critical juncture” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The number of new cases is on the rise, despite the fact that 1.9 million Americans have already been vaccinated.
Fauci, who was vaccinated a few days ago, told CNN on Sunday that it is “very difficult” for people not to communicate during the holidays, even though this is what health experts are calling for.
Authorities estimate that 85 million Americans travel to visit relatives and friends, and they fear that this will lead to new infections in the United States. Within a few weeks, about 200,000 new cases of the disease a day are registered in the United States.
According to Fauci, people “crowd at airports, people from different households meet.”
“What is happening is exactly what we do not recommend doing,” he said.
Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 and nominated as chief medical adviser to Joe Biden’s future administration, has urged Americans to get vaccinated.
He hoped that 75 to 80 percent of the 209 million American adults will receive the vaccine in the coming months, enough to build herd immunity and end the pandemic.
According to Fauci, the United States could “reach a critical vaccination rate by mid to late summer” next year.
This will allow the country “to return to some form of normal life,” the scientist stressed.
The United States has begun vaccinating primary care providers and nursing home residents. The next will be workers with priority functions and people over 75. Their vaccinations will begin in the next few weeks.
Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified emergency workers, teachers and other education workers, including kindergarten workers, food processing and agricultural workers, correctional staff, postal workers, public transport workers, and also people involved in production and food stores.
Fauci said US health authorities are tracking mutated strains that have emerged in the UK and South Africa. Authorities in the two countries said vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna protect against the new strains, but Fauci said American researchers will conduct their own tests to verify this.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there are about 19 million infections and more than 332 thousand deaths in the United States. In both indicators, the United States is far ahead of other countries in the world.