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Delta variant will cause US Covid surges: Fauci

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4 July, 2021: The US will soon see infection surges of the highly infectious Delta variant of Covid-19 in areas where vaccination rates are low, Anthony Fauci has predicted, calling resistance to vaccination “sad” and “tragic”.

Such resistance is particularly strong among Republicans: a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 86% of Democrats but only 45% of Republicans have received at least one shot.

The same poll found that a third of adults who had not had a shot said they would not or probably would not get one. Of those respondents, nearly three-quarters said officials like Fauci were exaggerating the risk posed by the Delta variant. A little more than three-quarters believed they had little or no risk of contracting Covid-19.

The Biden administration has trumpeted the success of its vaccination campaign, with 66.8% of US adults having received at least one dose by 1 July and 54.6% of all Americans having received at least one shot. But a target of 70% of adults with at least one shot by 4 July was expected to be missed.

When Fauci was asked if the Delta variant was more lethal than others and if he was concerned it could cause a spike in cases as society reopens, he said: “I don’t think you’re going to be seeing anything nationwide, because fortunately we have a substantial proportion of the population vaccinated. So it’s going to be regional.”

“We’re going to see almost two types of America,” he said. “You know, those regions of America which are highly vaccinated and we have a low level of dynamics of infection. And in some places, some states, some cities, some areas, where the level of vaccination is low and the level of virus dissemination is high, that’s where you’re going to see the spikes.”

“I am concerned that people who have not gotten vaccinated have the capacity to catch the variant and spread the variant to other people who haven’t been vaccinated,” he said. “I’m not concerned there’s going to be a major outbreak, another epidemic nationwide. But I am concerned lives will be lost.”

Fauci said that nearly 10,000 US deaths in June, “about 99.2% are unvaccinated. About 0.8% are vaccinated. No vaccine is perfect. But when you talk about the avoidability of hospitalisation and death, it’s really sad and tragic that most of these are avoidable and preventable.

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