Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Tuesday that “two Americas” may develop between predominantly vaccinated and unvaccinated regions if the delta coronavirus variant continues its spread in the country.
During an appearance on CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight,” Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he was “very concerned” about the potential for dense breakouts of the virus in states with low vaccination rates such as Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wyoming.
“When you have such a low level of vaccination superimposed upon a variant that has a high degree of efficiency of spread, what you are going to see among under-vaccinated regions — be they states, cities or counties — you’re going to see these individual types of blips,” Dr. Fauci said.
“It’s almost like it’s going to be two Americas,” he continued. “You’re going to have areas where the vaccine rate is high, where more than 70% of the population has received at least one dose. When you compare that with areas where you may have 35% of the people vaccinated, you clearly have a high risk of seeing these spikes in those selected areas.
“The thing that’s so frustrating about this, Don, is that this is entirely avoidable, entirely preventable,” he added. “If you are vaccinated you diminish dramatically your risk of getting infected and even more dramatically your risk of getting seriously ill. If you are not vaccinated, you are at considerable risk.”
Dr. Fauci‘s also warned that because of the spread of the delta variant, which is reportedly more transmissible and aggressive, children who are too young to get vaccinated should still be wearing masks in public in regions where the infection rate is high.
“If you are in an area where the viral dynamics are really high, you’ve got to be careful about pulling back the mask mandates,” he said. “You’ve really got to be careful. If you’re in an area where many of the people are vaccinated and the level of virus [is] very low, you can be much more flexible in having children not wear masks.”