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Dr. Fauci Just Predicted What Happens Next

Boosters, mandates, full FDA approval—read on to see what may be in store.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

As we type this sentence, from a state with a high concentration of COVID-19 (Florida), it takes 5 hours to get a COVID test at the nearest walk-in clinic. The day before, it was three hours. The week before, it was one. The coronavirus is thriving here and all across the South, as the Delta variant preys on the unvaccinated. What will happen next in your state? Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to president and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) about the development of antivirals for COVID-19 and other viruses with the potential to spread globally. Read on for 7 predictions about what will happen next—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.


Here's What Dr. Fauci Predicts Will Happen Next

Female nurse examining all the parameters in operating room

"I think it's going to be complicated, but let me explain what I project will happen," said Dr. Fauci. "You never can guarantee it's going to be accurate, but I think this is what's going to happen—since an acceleration of vaccines doesn't give a result until several weeks after, we are already on a trajectory that looks strikingly similar to the sharp incline that the UK saw. So remember, we went from an average of about 12 to 15,000 cases a day to 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, we're up to 70. Now we are going to be between 100 and 200,000 cases before this thing starts to turn around. Now with regard to vaccines—in order to make sure that by the time we get into the fall, we don't continue to accelerate, but turn around and start coming down acutely, we've got to get those 93 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated, who are not getting vaccinated." Keep reading to see what he thinks will be a "gamechanger."


Dr. Fauci Says He Believes Unvaccinated States Will Come Around and Get Vaccinated

Happy vaccinated woman gesturing thumbs up.

"What I believe we will see—and interestingly, even in those areas that are accounting for the vast majority of infections, you know, like 40% of all the infections in the country are in like three states or so 20% are in Florida, I mean, that's one state out of 50 states is accounting for  20% or more of the infections—yet we're seeing that in those states where you're seeing a lot of infection, the rate of vaccination as an average is better than the rest of the country. So that's telling us that the states that are suffering most from the increase are starting to realize that you got to get vaccinated if you want to get out of this. And we're seeing governors and others from those states who normally were not enthusiastic, who are going out and speaking about getting vaccinated. Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas is out beating the bushes, asking people to get vaccinated. We have people even like Governor DeSantis"—of Florida—"who doesn't want to have mask mandates, is going out, saying people should wind up getting vaccinated. Steve Scalise, a Republican leader, they're saying go out and get vaccinated. So I think we're going to see a turnaround."


Dr. Fauci Says the FDA's Full Approval of the Vaccines Could be a "Gamechanger"

fda building

"The thing that I think is going to be a real, somewhat of a game changer, is as soon as the FDA gives full approval for the vaccines, those people who are hesitant to get vaccinated because they perceive the emergency use authorization is not being proof enough that it's safe and effective. Even though we have ample, ample evidence that it's highly effective and highly safe, I think you're going to see more people get vaccinated. And then you're also going to see enterprises  feeling much more confident in local mandates for vaccines. You're not going to see a central mandate coming from the federal government, but you're going to see more universities, colleges, places of business, who once they get the cover of an officially approved vaccine, they're going to start mandating vaccine. So we're going to see an increase in vaccines, and that's going to be the solution to the problem. Of course, if you get the overwhelming majority of people vaccinated, we wouldn't even be having this conversation."

It would change a small amount of minds, he says—"likely not a majority, likely a relatively small 10, 15, 20% or so, who, as soon as this gets approved, would say, okay, I'm ready to go get vaccine."


Dr. Fauci Said He Hoped We Could End This By Fall—But It Could Go Into Winter

Portrait of sick young man in blue jacket put on a hood, having a cold, feeling unwell, coughing, wearing medical face mask, outdoors

"I don't want to give a number," he said. "I can dance around it a bit if you want to use that terminology. So let's say we have 93 million people who are eligible to get vaccinated, and we really want to get 90% of those people vaccinated. If you really want to nail this thing down here, I'll settle for 70 or an 80%, but I'd love to see 90%. So, you know, 90% of that, let's say you get 80, you know, 80 million people that you want to get vaccinated. If you get a million people a day, that's 80 days, that's two and two-thirds months. That's a long time. So I want to see that gap closed. So two and two thirds months from now, you know, is going to be sometime October, maybe even into November or the end of October. I'd like to see us there before then. So I'd like to see hopefully between one and 2 million per day. We may get there when mandates come, but it can't be 250 or 500,000 a day. Otherwise, it's going to go well into the winter. I want to get there sooner."

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Dr. Fauci Said This About Vaccines for Children

Child with face mask getting vaccinated

Children under age 12 cannot get the vaccine. "Scientifically we are currently doing the clinical trials in an age deescalation approach in kids from 11 to nine, nine to six, six to two and six months to two years, we're already collecting substantial data on the safety and the immunogenicity, which would predict effectiveness in children in those age groups," said Dr. Fauci. "I think we're going to get that information as we get into the fall, then it becomes a regulatory decision….I hope it's in the fall. I hope it doesn't go beyond the fall."

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Dr. Fauci Said Follow the CDC's Recommendations

Rochelle Walensky

"We've got to get that 93 plus million people who are not vaccinated, vaccinated. That is going to require the kinds of things we just mentioned. Local mandates, people being convinced that it's okay to get vaccinated. I have to say, I know I don't want to conflict in any way with the local authorities doing what they feel they need to do. But you know, you have situations where you have governors giving orders that they're, you cannot mandate a mask in a school or in a workplace we need to mask up until we get to the point where we really have control this escalation of cases. If everybody got vaccinated, you wouldn't be arguing about masks. You likely were, the need for masks would diminish dramatically. But in the meantime, I would think that if we could get everyone to adhere to the CDC recommendations about mitigation, that would be important." 

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Dr. Fauci Said the Advice May Change Again—Here's How to Stay Safe

Brunette woman wearing a KN95 FPP2 mask.

There may be boosters required. Things are in flux. "We're dealing with a highly transmissible changing virus," said Dr. Fauci. "And with that, you are going to see modification of recommendations. And I think the thing that got people most shook up is first, it was said, if you're vaccinated, you don't need to wear a mask indoors. And then you say, if you're vaccinated, you still have to wear a mask indoors. If you're in a indoor public place in a region that has a high or substantial transmissibility. And the reason for that relates to what we were saying about the fact that vaccinated, people who get infected, given this Delta variant have a high degree of virus in the nasal pharynx. And even though the vaccine protects them from getting severe disease, they can transmit it. And it has been documented that they do transmit it. So the mask has a lot to do with protecting you. So you don't transmit it to someone else." 

So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, 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