Director of the National Institutes of Health and Infectious Disease (NIH) and White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday on “Anderson Cooper 360” that the coronavirus pandemic could be under control by the spring of 2022 if a majority of Americans get vaccinated.
“You have either the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, those who have been infected and have cleared the virus will have a degree of protection, and we’re recommending that those people also get vaccinated because the degree of protection that you could induce in someone who has been infected, who has then recovered and then vaccinated, is an enormous increase in the degree of protection,” Fauci told CNN host Anderson Cooper regarding how the U.S. could get the virus under control.
“If we can do that with the people who have been infected, get them revaccinated, the people who are unvaccinated now, the 90 million people, get them vaccinated, I think we can get a degree of overall blanket protection of the community that as we get into the early part of 2022,” he added, noting that if people do not get vaccinated, the virus could “linger” on and develop stronger variants.
Fauci also said “the time has come” for businesses, colleges and the military to “mandate” vaccines, calling the policy a “good thing.”
“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 just got to get people vaccinated,” he insisted.
Fauci warned the Delta variant could pose a significant problem over the next few months, a statement he similarly addressed in early August, warning “things are going to get worse” but not bad enough for another lockdown. (RELATED: ‘Most Significant Threat To Freedom In My Lifetime’: DeSantis Says COVID Unleashed ‘Medical Authoritarianism’)
Fauci supports a vaccine mandate, claiming while the federal government won’t issue a blanket mandate, it’s up to local schools and businesses to mandate the vaccine. He has also said that individuals who have already been vaccinated will need booster shots “at some time in the future.”