Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that vaccine-hesitant Americans ought to "put aside" concerns and personal liberties to help fight against COVID-19.
In a lengthy interview with CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes, the infectious diseases expert said that unvaccinated people are spreading the highly contagious Delta variant and are becoming more ill than those people who have been vaccinated against the virus.
What are the details?
During Sunday's broadcast of "Face the Nation," Fauci, chief White House medical adviser, called on Americans who are reluctant to receive the COVID-19 vaccines, saying they should recognize COVID-19 as a "common enemy."
Pointing to rising numbers purportedly spurred on by the Delta variant, Fauci said that it's imperative for the "overwhelming proportion of people" to get vaccinated against coronavirus.
"[W]hat's coming next is that we are going to have to continue to get people vaccinated so that right now, even in states in which you have a good relative proportion of people vaccinated, you have to get the overwhelming proportion of people vaccinated, but you also have to do mitigation, and that gets to the controversial issue of mask-wearing," he explained, "and the mandating of things."
He added, "Mandating of vaccines, for example, for teachers and people in the personnel in the school, but also in situations — as uncomfortable as we know and controversial as we know it is with regard to masks wearing, particularly in the situation in schools — we've just got to realize that we're dealing with a public health crisis."
Fauci added that he believes unvaccinated people are not only driving many current infections, but are also becoming more ill and dying more often when compared with those people who have been fully vaccinated against the deadly disease.
"We certainly are getting what are called breakthrough infections, which means a person who was vaccinated might get infected and actually may even spread the virus," he explained. "But in general, those people are not the ones who are getting seriously ill and dying. It's the unvaccinated that are doing that."
Fauci insisted that the country has a "lot of tasks" to complete in order to tamp down the spread of COVID-19 including putting aside "concern about liberties and personal liberties."
"We've got to do mitigation, put aside all of these issues of concern about liberties and personal liberties and realize we have a common enemy and that common enemy is the virus," he insisted. "And we really have to all pull together to get on top of this. Otherwise, we're going to continue to suffer as we're seeing right now."
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