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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the US could have a handle on COVID-19 by spring 2022 if the majority of Americans get vaccinated.
Fauci told CNN’S Anderson Cooper on Monday that he misspoke when he previously told NPR it wouldn’t be until the fall of 2022 that the pandemic gets under control.
However, he said how fast the country gets back to a sense of normalcy lies in the hands of the 90 million Americans who have yet to get vaccinated.
More than 201,700,000 people have gotten at least one dose of a vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.
Fauci said “it’s up to us,” to get the virus under control.
“This is a very wily virus,” Fauci said “If we keep lingering without getting those people vaccinated that should be vaccinated, this thing could linger on, leading to the development of another variant which could complicate things.”
Fauci and other public health experts have previously warned that unvaccinated people are giving the virus a chance to mutate into a potentially more dangerous variant than the currently circulating and more transmissible Delta variant.
“If you allow the virus to freely circulate and not try to stop it, sooner or later you there is a likelihood you will get another variant that could — I’m not saying it will — that could be more problematic than the Delta,” Fauci told NBC’s “Meet the Press” earlier this month. “People who are unvaccinated should think about their own health, that of their family, but also the community responsibility to crush this virus before it gets even worse.”
Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in the US, especially in states with low vaccination rates. On Sunday, there were 43,222 new cases, according to CDC data.