Americans shouldn’t “declare victory prematurely” against the coronavirus and must continue practicing safety protocols even as more people are vaccinated, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“We see so many pulling back on some public health measures, the mask mandates, the restaurants opening, the bars, we can’t be doing that,” President Biden’s chief medical adviser said Monday on CNN. “We’ve got to wait a bit longer until we get enough vaccine into people that we will clearly blunt any surge.”
Despite the warning, Fauci expressed optimism in the fight against the coronavirus, saying the rapid rate of vaccinations and doubling down on safety measures could produce a turnaround and cases could start to decline again.
The U.S. currently has administered roughly 190 million of its 238 million available coronavirus vaccine doses, with 74 million Americans, or about 22% of the total population, fully immunized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.