Dr. Anthony Fauci refuted the idea that immigrants are fueling the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S., saying the problem is “within our own country.”
Speaking Sunday to CNN’s Dana Bash, Fauci said immigrants were being unfairly made into the scapegoat for the country’s failure to get a handle on the pandemic, such as in recent poll found 55% of Republicans and 40% of unvaccinated U.S. adults cited immigrants and tourists as a major reason for the recent surge in cases.
“If you look at the data and look at the people who have gotten infected, look at the people who are in the hospital, look at the people who’ve died,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Business Insider reported. “This is not driven by immigrants.
“Certainly, immigrants can get infected, but they’re not the driving force of this,” he said. “Let’s face reality here.”
As of Monday, the U.S. has recorded roughly 44 million coronavirus cases and more than 700,000 related deaths since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 — both tops globally — according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.
However, only about 56% of the country’s population currently has been fully vaccinated, despite the widespread availability of vaccines, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.