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Dr. Fauci Just Issued This Warning After 700,000 Deaths

“Look at the people who are in the hospital, look at the people who died. This is not driven by immigrants.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

With American coronavirus deaths surpassing 700,000, the grim milestone comes with a built-in warning: There will be more deaths—many more, unless more Americans get vaccinated. In response, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on CNN's State of the Union with Dana Bash to give five life-saving pieces of advice, as well as perspective about who is driving the recent surges, and his take on the new "COVID pill." Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Dr. Fauci Warned There Will Be More Deaths Unless Vaccinations Increase

Woman in medical face mask getting Covid-19 vaccine at the hospital

The 700,000 deaths from COVID? "Well, it's a very painful statistic," said Dr. Fauci. "Obviously, because of the enormity of the challenge of this outbreak and this extraordinary virus that spread so rapidly, many of those deaths were unavoidable, but many, many are avoidable, were avoidable and will in the future be avoidable. The number itself is staggering. But hopefully that will then spur us to realize that we do have interventions in the form of a vaccine to prevent infection, to prevent severe disease, to prevent death. So when you see a number like this, I would hope people would say, well, we have a tool to not let that get any worse. Let's utilize it. We still have 70 million Americans in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who have not gotten vaccinated yet. So we don't want that number to continue to go up and we can blunt it very, very well with vaccination."


Dr. Fauci Called a New COVID Drug "Extremely Important" But Said It Does Not Replace the Vaccine

Nurse holding syringe

Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced a drug they developed—a pill you just swallow—cut COVID deaths and hospitalizations in half. How big a deal is this? "It's extremely important," said Dr. Fauci. "The reason is that as you mentioned, it's a pill that is given by mouth. So you don't need anything special than just taking a pill the way it would take any other pill. And the results are really quite impressive. As you mentioned, that decreases the likelihood of getting hospitalization or dying in people who early in the course of their infection take this particular medication. In addition, there's another part of that study that is really impressive among the deaths in the study. There were eight deaths among the placebo group and no deaths among those who took the medication. That's very impressive. So we really look forward to the implementation of this and to its effect on people who were infected." But he says you should still get vaccinated. "You know the way to decrease the risk by 100%, don't get infected in the first place."

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Dr. Fauci Said Most Religions Do Not Have Vaccine Exemptions, So Don't Abuse That

School child wearing face mask

Fauci said only a handful of religions have actual prohibitions against getting vaccinated, so religious exemptions should not be abused. "I would hope that people would understand that all of this is for their benefit for the safety of themselves, their family, and this societal responsibility," he said. "Other situations locally have dealt with that. There was a situation back in California years ago when governor Jerry Brown was the governor. And he said, no, no religious exemptions because of the fact that it was being abused. I'm not sure how it's going to roll out. I just would encourage people to realize the importance of this, to get this outbreak under control. The idea of getting vaccinated, for example, getting children in school vaccinated, which has gone right now with governor Newsome in California, things like that are not new. I mean, there are school situations where I know my own children had to get vaccinated with a variety of vaccines in order to be able to go to school real quick. There's nothing new about that."

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Dr. Fauci Said Here's Why to Vaccinate Your Kids; They Are in Danger

Child girl wearing a protection mask against coronavirus

Dr. Fauci said he could not predict when a vaccine might be available to kids 11 and under—it may be by Halloween or November—but said "my message to parents would be that, although it is very clear that a child getting infected has less of a chance of getting a severe outcome than an elderly person or a person with an underlying condition, but it is not completely unequivocally, a benign situation in children. We are seeing now very clearly, if you go to pediatric hospitals that although this risk is less than the adult, there are children in hospital who are getting seriously ill. In addition, there's an issue which we call Long COVID, which means that some people including children get infected, recover, and may even get minimal symptoms who have a lingering of certain symptomatology that is not comfortable, that can be disruptive of their lives. So you want to protect your child, but you also want to make the child a part of the solution mainly so that there's not spread of infection either within your own household or to other vulnerable people. That's what I would try to articulate to parents to convince them that it is a very positive, good thing to get their children vaccinated."

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Dr. Fauci Said Immigrants and Tourists are Not Driving Surges

Female doctor or nurse trying to give shot or vaccine against virus to a scared patient. Angry and distrustful patient refuses to receive it.

Bash mentioned "a new Kaiser family foundation poll asked Americans this week, what they thought the major reasons for high coronavirus spread are. And the top reason that Republicans gave in this poll was immigrants and tourists bringing COVID-19 into the U.S." True? "No, absolutely not," said Dr. Fauci. "I mean, if you just look at the data and look at the people who have gotten infected, look at the people who are in the hospital, look at the people who died. This is not driven by immigrants. This is the problem within our country. The same way it's a problem with other countries throughout the world. I mean, the idea when you have 700,000 Americans dead and, and millions and millions of Americans getting infected, that you don't want to look outside to the problem, the problem is within our own country, certainly immigrants can get infected, but they're not the driving force of this, let's face reality here." So get vaccinated ASAP and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek