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Fauci said people blaming immigrants for the spread of COVID-19 in the US needed to 'face reality'

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Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in the White House in January. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
  • A poll found 55% of Republicans said immigrants and tourists were a major cause of COVID-19 spread.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said that's "absolutely not" the case based on the data in the US.

  • "Certainly immigrants can get infected, but they're not the driving force of this," Fauci said.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said immigrants were not driving the spread of COVID-19 in the US, despite some Americans saying they believed otherwise.

The CNN host Dana Bash asked Fauci about a recent poll that found 55% of Republicans and 40% of unvaccinated US adults cited immigrants and tourists as a major reason for the most recent US surge in COVID-19 cases.

Bash asked Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whether immigrants specifically were a major reason for COVID-19 spread in the US.

"No, absolutely not," he said. "If you just 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. This is not driven by immigrants."

More than 700,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, and more than 43 million cases have been reported in the US.

Fauci said COVID-19 transmission was a problem in the US the same way it was a problem in countries throughout the world.

"The problem is within our own country," Fauci said. "Certainly immigrants can get infected, but they're not the driving force of this. Let's face reality here."

Public-health experts have said there is no evidence linking migrants to surges in the US. Nevertheless, some Republican politicians, including Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, have sought to blame immigrants for COVID-19 surges in the US.

Coronavirus infections are now on the downswing in much of the US, but Fauci also said Sunday it was too soon to tell what the outlook would be for the holiday season.

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