Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, suggested Sunday that municipalities should begin issuing COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
What did Fauci say?
During an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Fauci agreed that vaccine mandates should become a reality on the "local level."
"I have been of this opinion, and I remain of that opinion, that I do believe at the local level, Jake, there should be more mandates. There really should be," Fauci told host Jake Tapper.
"We're talking about life-and-death situation. We have lost 600,000 Americans already, and we're still losing more people. There have been 4 million deaths worldwide. This is serious business. So, I am in favor of that," he added.
In fact, Fauci foreshadowed what may come in the near future: vaccine mandates when the Food and Drug Administration gives the vaccines official approval.
Currently, COVID vaccines being used in the U.S. have been awarded emergency authorization only.
I think the hesitancy at the local level of doing mandates is because the vaccines have not been officially fully approved. But people need to understand that the amount of data right now that shows a high degree of effectiveness and a high degree of safety is more than we have ever seen with emergency use authorization. So, these vaccines are as good as officially approved with all the I's dotted and the T's crossed. It hasn't been done yet because the FDA has to do certain things, but it's as good as done.
People should really understand that. But they are waiting now until you get an official approval before. And I think, when you do see the official approval, Jake, you are going to see a lot more mandates.
State of the Union with Jake Tapper 7/11/21 | CNN Breaking News Today Jul 11, 2021youtu.be
What is the background?
Fauci's request came as the chorus of vaccine-mandate advocates grows louder.
CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer, for example, made headlines last week after demanding that vaccination and vaccine passports become a mandatory staple of American life as COVID-related hospitalizations remain at low levels. CNN medical analyst Leana Wen is also aggressively pushing for vaccine mandates.
Meanwhile, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who served the Obama administration, told the New York Times she also supports businesses and schools enacting vaccine mandates.