Frustrated with how the Covid-19 vaccine has become a political issue dividing many Democrats and Republicans, Dr Anthony Fauci slammed those still refusing to get vaccinated, telling them to “get over it”, during an interview on MSNBC.
“You’ve gotta ask: What is the problem?” he said on Wednesday night. “Get over it. Get over this political statement. Just get over it and try and save the lives of yourself and your family.”
The Biden administration had to acknowledge that they missed their 4 July goal of having 70 per cent of American adults receive at least one dose and 160 million people fully vaccinated.
President Biden has renewed calls for Americans to get vaccinated after being briefed on the state of the pandemic as the Delta variant spreads across the country.
“Our fight against this virus is not over. Right now, as I speak to you, millions of Americans are still unvaccinated and unprotected. And because of that, their communities are at risk, their friends are at risk, the people that they care about are at risk. This is an even bigger concern because of the Delta variant,” Mr Biden said on Tuesday.
“So many diseases that I deal with ... don’t have solutions,” Dr Fauci said on Wednesday. “It’s very frustrating. You don’t have a treatment or you don’t have a vaccine. Here we have a vaccine [for Covid-19] that’s highly, highly effective in preventing disease and certainly in preventing severe disease and hospitalization. It’s easy to get. It’s free. And it’s readily available.”
About 58 per cent of American adults have been fully vaccinated. Compared to other countries, that’s a high figure, but it’s still way off the between 70 and 90 per cent some scientists believe is necessary to achieve herd immunity.
Across the US, the number of cases is steady, but those numbers are hiding two increasingly separate Americas, where cases continue to plummet in urban and suburban areas, but rise in more rural and less populated areas that trend more conservative and where people are more hesitant to get vaccinated.
According to the most recent Kaiser Family Foundation Poll, 72 per cent of adult urban residents have received at least one dose – while the same is true for only 54 per cent of adults who live in more rural areas.
“It is the unvaccinated people who are dying,” Mississippi’s state health officer, Dr Thomas Dobbs, said, according to WLBT. “The unvaccinated people who are going to the hospital. The unvaccinated people who are getting diagnosed, for the most part.”