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Fauci says the ‘disparity in the willingness to be vaccinated’ could lead to Delta variant spikes

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a “Meet the Press” interview that anti-vaxxers might bring up Delta variant rates regionally.
  • The Delta variant has been detected in all 50 states. 
  • Health officials continue to urge Americans to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. 
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

People who don’t get vaccinated against the coronavirus are increasing the likelihood of Delta variant spikes across the country, Dr. Anthony Fauci said. 

In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that aired Sunday, Fauci, the nation’s leading coronavirus expert, said the Delta variant could spike in different regions, even as overall vaccination rates go up and new COVID-19 cases go down. 

There’s a “disparity in the willingness to be vaccinated,” Fauci said. “So there are some states where the level of vaccination of individuals is 35% or less. Under those circumstances, you might expect to see spikes in certain regions, in certain states, cities, or counties.”

“And in some places, some states, some cities, some areas where the level of vaccination is low and the level of virus dissemination is high — that’s where you’re going to see the spikes,” he said. 

Already, the variant has been detected in all 50 states, and health officials all over continue to urge Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. 

Five states in particular — Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, and Utah — have been hardest hit by the Delta variant. 

In some states, specific counties are seeing drastically higher rates of confirmed coronavirus cases. Health officials there attribute the spike to the Delta variant.

Colorado, for example, is overall seeing a decrease in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases. But regionally, the Delta variant is causing spikes. Mesa County in Colorado has had a 34% increase in the number of positive coronavirus cases within the last two weeks, according to a COVID-19 tracker from The New York Times.

The Delta variant “is more effective and efficient in its ability to transmit from person to person,” Fauci said Sunday. “It’s clear that it appears to be more lethal in the sense of more serious —  allow you to get more serious disease leading to hospitalization, and in some cases leading to deaths.”

More than 605,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the United States, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. About 47% of the total US population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, JHU data say.

“I don’t think you’re going to be seeing anything nationwide,” Fauci said of Delta variant spikes. “Because fortunately, we have a substantial proportion of the population vaccinated. So it’s going to be regional. And that’s the thing that will be confusing when people look at what we do. We’re going to see, and I’ve said, almost two types of America.” 

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