Dr. Fauci calls the Delta variant ‘the greatest threat’ to eliminating covid

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Although there are many, many reasons to celebrate the vaccine rollout here in the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci does not want us to lose sight of the fact that we are not out of the woods. The Delta variant, that proved so destructive in India, is getting a foothold in the US. Since it was first reported here, the Delta variant has doubled and is expected to become the dominant strain of the virus within weeks. The spread is happening so quickly that Dr. Fauci called it, “the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19.”

Cases of COVID-19 are slowing in the United States as more Americans get vaccinated, but getting to the end of the pandemic is going to take longer with the highly contagious Delta variant spreading throughout the country.

In the last week, cases from the Delta variant have doubled, up to 20.6%, and federal health experts expect it to become the dominant strain in the next few weeks.

“The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said during a White House briefing on Tuesday.

The variant, which was first identified in India, has spread faster than other strains and led to more hospitalizations, though it does not appear to be more deadly. Testing also shows that the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are nearly fully effective against the Delta strain, preventing infection in around 94% of fully vaccinated people.

“The news that’s so important is that the vaccines that we have now, that we’ve done so well in distributing … over 65% of the adult population has received at least one dose. We’re doing well with a vaccine that does quite well against this problematic variant,” Fauci told Savannah Guthrieon Today Wednesday morning.
Fauci emphasized, though, that “it’s the unvaccinated people that we’re concerned about.”

If more people get vaccinated, Fauci said, they can prevent COVID-19 from continuing to mutate and create more virulent strains like the Delta variant.

“Another important reason why we need to get vaccinated: viruses don’t mutate if they don’t replicate,” he said. “If you give them the opportunity to replicate by allowing them to spread from person to person, you’re giving them the perfect opportunity to mutate even more and perhaps evade the vaccine.”

[From People]

Viruses are expected to mutate throughout their lives, so the emergence of the Delta variant is unfortunate, but not surprising. The variant may cause more severe illness, but the verdict is still out on that. It spreads quicker because it latches to the body’s cells better. This is why precautions are still necessary. And why vaccinations are important, because they will protect against the Delta variant as well. This is Dr. Fauci’s point. In the communities with low vaccine rates, the Delta variant will spread even quicker than its predecessor. We’re looking at years before we are truly rid of this pandemic. There’s already another mutation, the Delta plus, waiting in the wings. This thing is going to keep going but the devastation it wreaks is up to us and how well we protect against it.

Speaking of, although some places have done a great job with their vaccination numbers, others have fallen a short. It was just announced we will not make Biden’s revised 70% vaccinated by July 4th goal. The reason the push to vaccinate is still important is because of those who can’t be vaccinated, mainly children. And remember, “being vaccinated” means receiving both doses. Many people are skipping the second for various reasons but don’t. It isn’t effective enough. I’m fortunate in that about 85% of the people in my area are still in masks and vaccinated so I feel pretty safe this summer. I can’t wait for COVID to be nothing more than a “remember when” story.

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36 Responses to “Dr. Fauci calls the Delta variant ‘the greatest threat’ to eliminating covid”

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  1. Darla says:

    It makes me so mad that as Americans, we are ridiculously fortunate to have every opportunity to be fully vaxxed, and yet so many of us refuse. Green Day said a mouthful when they wrote Idiot America.

    • Esmom says:

      Preach. Every day I am more disappointed and demoralized by the levels of ignorance we’ve reached here in the US.

    • Watson says:

      Darla: Just imagine being Canadian and seeing how resistant Americans are to vaccinations when your own country doesn’t have a steady supply of vaccines and has a whole slew of people lining up for their shots.
      Canadians and Americans have so much culture in common but this situation will never make sense to me.

      • Darla says:

        I wish we would just ship millions of Pfizers over to CVS stores in Canada. It’s really sick when you look at it globally. So many millions who would do anything to be vaccinated and these morons here. I’m sorry.

      • Watson says:

        Darla no need to apologize. In comparison to other countries Canada is extremely privileged too. Overall it’s highlighted how unequal the world wide distribution of vaccine has been.

      • LadyMTL says:

        Another Canadian here, and I wish more people in North America would realize how fortunate they are to have relatively easy access to the vaccines. I was able to get my first dose in mid-May but my next one won’t be until mid-July, and I’ll have to go to a walk-in center instead of my nearby pharmacy (lack of supply, so they’re not offering 2nd doses to anyone under 60.)

        Still, I won’t complain because I know how lucky we all are to even have access. There are countries in the world that are practically begging for vaccines, so why won’t people here get them if they can? If we want Covid to be in the rearview mirror, we need to get vaccinated.

      • Gab says:

        I doubt Canada could get to 100% either. 65% is pretty high and it will likely get higher as the months go by. Overall the rollout has been great. I live in a county where over 90% are vaccinated. 100% vaccinated is unrealistic, as is 0 COVID positives.

      • Golly Gee says:

        Canadian here, and will thankfully be getting my second shot next week. Canada also has its share of anti-VAXers. The longer Covid is free to keep replicating in those who are unvaccinated, the more danger there is of a variant developing that won’t be susceptible to the vaccine. This is also why until a majority of the world’s population is vaccinated, there is still potential danger for those who are fully vaccinated.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      I, my husband and my daughter are vaccinated. One son has gotten one dose, the other, neither. They are both scared of the myocarditis side effect, and one of their friends who has received both had chest pains a couple days later, so this has cemented the idea in their heads. It scares me to death that they aren’t fully protected as delta rises, especially since they will both be back on campus in a couple months. I know UW Madison won’t require vaccination, but I’m hoping UWSP will. Just thinking about either of them contracting the virus brings tears to my eyes, but they are both 20, and I cannot force them. We just keep talking about delta and hope it sinks in.

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        My younger nephew is at UWI, Madison, and though he is fully vaxxed (Moderna), I’m worried sick about him being there when the Uni won’t enforce testing to be on campus and in crowded classrooms.

        This is TOO easy of a way for a variant to spread. Even being vaxxed doesn’t make you 100% immune. You *can* still get sick, develop Long Hauler symptoms; it just (hopefully!) protects you from dying from it.

    • Miss Margo says:

      My brother and a friend are anti vaxx and it makes me so mad. They watched one 10 minute YouTube video and that’s it. “Vaccines are bad, they cause infertility, they cause autism.” You dumb asses. It’s people like them that will only learn once they get covid and are in hospital dying from it. And kids under 12 can’t even get the vaccine yet! They are putting children at risk due to their ignorance!

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        Be sure to tell them that one of the Long Hauler symptoms IS MALE infertility. So if they get sick… good luck to them.

  2. hindulovegod says:

    It’s maddening to watch everyone “go back to normal” while we’re still not close to herd immunity, children remain unvaxxed, and variants continue to emerge and spread rapidly. With this strategy, we will never eliminate Covid. We’re instead ensuring it becomes more deadly.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      This! Even our vet has returned to allowing owners to attend their pet visits as delta rises… I just don’t understand the complacency. I was the only person in a mask at the vet yesterday… one other owner in the building, but NO STAFF or VET was wearing a mask. Insanity.

      • Dani says:

        Just a thought — It’s possible your vet and their staff and already vaccinated. Ideally, should still be wearing masks indoors. A lot of vet practices are facing significant backlash from pet owners about curbside service and so many practices are feeling pressured to open up their buildings. Also, please be extra nice to your vet. They are under considerable stress and have very high suicide rates. Thanks.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        @Dani,

        I love my vet practice, have five animals in the house and have been a client since 2004. I did not know the suicide rate has increased for that group. Yikes.

        Yes, I can hope they are all vaccinated, but will never know. I know there were a few staff members who only used those plastic mouth-only shields, and I have to wonder if that was their capitulation to the mask mandate. If so, it’s not unreasonable to assume they are not okay with the vax.

        I still think it’s bonkers that businesses are opening up for full capacity/”normal” activities in the presence of delta, that is doubling in incidence every two weeks- it’s exponential growth all over again. I can’t believe we haven’t learned our lessons yet.

  3. Lala11_7 says:

    I will just keep wearing my masks…social distancing & wait for the booster shots…..That’s the way I’ma roll cause THAT is my new normal….

    • ME says:

      You are very smart. Too bad most people are acting as if the pandemic is over when really it’s far from that. At this point, it’s everyone for themselves. All you can do is try to keep yourself safe.

    • Jamie says:

      Same here! Where I live (a staunchly Red state…so, yeah) people have gone back to their pre-covid lifestyles already despite having a relativelylow vaccination rate. I don’t care if they think I look silly. I’d rather look silly than risk my life to fit in with their dumb asses.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Same!!

    • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

      I live in a community here in So. Cal that has almost 80% vax rate, and surrounding areas are at least 70% vaxxed. I don’t wear a mask outside, but I STILL wear a mask when going into a place that has more than 2 or 3 people, or in a small space, and I will *continue* to do so for the foreseeable future (like into the beginning of next year most likely, if not longer). My area is a HIGH tourist draw, and I don’t know what the ^&^$# people are bringing with them, so I’m not going to take chances with my health.

      It STILL is shocking to see almost everyone in most situations w/out masks. When I had to go to the Apple store last week, it was still limited capacity and masks, but the Genius told me last weekend was the end of that. The thought of being in a store like that, that gets *jammed* (almost wall to wall people) gives me the sweats!

  4. Izzy says:

    I had a physical yesterday. My doctor said he had a patient test positive this week and it was likely the Delta variant. This patient had attended a graduation celebration OUTDOORS, and they and FOUR others at the celebration got sick. None of them were vaccinated, of course.

    • Darla says:

      Some dumb f’s are gonna learn the hard way, again. I just hope they don’t take any under-12 year olds with them.

  5. Eleonor says:

    I am having my second Pfizer shot on 3rd July. I am counting the days!

  6. KNy says:

    You can boil it down to about 30% of the population being selfish. It encompasses all of the issues they hold dear (like their assault rifles, or need to police women’s bodies). It’s that thirty or so percent of absolute selfish jerks. I read an article about a man who refused to get vaccinated when he had the chance in February. He got covid and ended up with a double lung transplant. Thankfully he is using his own story as a cautionary tale and trying to get the word out on vaccines, but part of me is upset that those lungs didn’t go to someone with, say, cystic fibrosis. This isn’t April 2020 when we had few tests, little knowledge about the virus, and an ape in the White House.

  7. Case says:

    I’m finally starting to feel comfortable being out and about a bit more (for context, I exclusively ordered groceries and basically just stayed in my house for a solid 13 months). I’ve now eaten outside at a restaurant once, finally returned to the salon last weekend, and feel more comfortable going to “fun” stores to browse without hurrying in and out as fast as possible. It feels so nice to have some normalcy back. I feel super lucky to live in a state where cases are staying in the 200s a day now.

    BUT, I have zero hope that we’ll eliminate COVID because we live in an individualistic, selfish country, and that has been shown a thousand times over during the pandemic. So I continue masking and keeping my distance, even when some places have shockingly low mask-wearing. NO ONE in my salon had a mask on except for me (and my stylist when I asked her to). I felt uncomfortable, but reminded myself that I’m vaccinated, my stylist is vaccinated, and hopefully that is enough.

  8. Faye G says:

    My sister is pregnant and so far is refusing to get vaccinated. I am very concerned for her since her husband’s family are all anti-VAX or‘s I don’t seem to care that they’re putting her at risk. All I want is for her and my nephew to make it safely through the rest of the year. The whole situation makes me so mad, this country is backwards and people need to wake up!

  9. Bean says:

    I want my 11 year old vaccinated ASAP. The delta variant scares the hell out of me – they need to get the emergency approval for kids DONE.

  10. SarahCS says:

    I also like that the point is being made about the more infections we have leading to more mutations. Here is the UK vaccination is going well and there is a worryingly relaxed attitude amongst the younger people who are now making up the bulk of infections. Yes they are less likely to be hospitalised or worst case, die but with every infection there’s a chance of a mutation that we will really struggle to deal with.

    A colleague’s sister works in disaster preparedness in Australia and shared a story about the Delta variant and of how in a quarantine hotel a person was infected on day 11 of their quarantine when they opened their door to take in their food tray (masked) at their allocated time which was 5 minutes after the (as it turns out infected) person in the room opposite had done the same (also masked). It was estimated only 6 seconds of exposure and they were infected (again, both wore masks). This is just horrifying.

    • Golly Gee says:

      That is horrifying! If that’s the whole story, masks are rendered useless by the Delta variant. That adds credence to the possibility that future mutations will find other ways to avoid being killed including becoming immune to current vaccines.

      • SarahCS says:

        It definitely raises questions! Maybe they weren’t careful taking their mask off, maybe particles had settled on the food tray, maybe… But yeah, it’s given me a renewed appreciation of the need to just stay away from people and keep counting the days until my second vaccination dose.

    • Totorochan says:

      Cases like this, and the story in the comment above about the outdoor graduation ceremony, and one in the news about a person infecting another by just passing by them in an Australian mall, are scary. It feels potentially unsafe to let people into our homes or to share any spaces with others, because of the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant.

      Studies are saying viable virus in aerosol form can survive in the air for 16 hours. I don’t know how common this is, but we are hearing that countries with a lot of Delta are seeing infections not only of unvaccinated or partly-vaccinated people, but even fully vaccinated people, a small proportion of whom are hospitalized or even die.

      Not an expert, but it seems to me that most everyday masks and even the disposable surgical masks aren’t designed to entirely keep out airborne disease as they aren’t airtight. They will help somewhat but I’d imagine that only the n95s and similar, if properly fitted, and the big respirators would really work well against aerosols.

  11. Zengirl says:

    All of this!

    And just a small correction: viruses don’t live (they are just inert packets of RNA or DNA and packaging proteins usually) and they don’t mutate “throughout their lives” since they aren’t alive and it mutates usually upon reproduction which requires US.. A virus is made in our cells with materials from our own bodies. It latches on and then our cells are the engine making the virus (reproducing the virus). As with most types of reproduction in living things, it allows mutations. I just want people to understand this better, because, with vaccine we can keep it from doing this (using our own bodies to manufacture this little enemy and allow it to adapt).

  12. Rena Mars says:

    I do not believe anything Fauci says what about all of the people that were fully vaccinated and still end up getting the covid so being vaccinated or not probably will not help against the varient. That’s why they are talking about a third shot which is the booster shot because they know that those vaccines that they already have is not going to work against the Delta covid they just keep on coming up with a whole lot of BS because even they don’t have the correct vaccines or the correct answers to anything concerning all of different covids they just continue to tell everybody what they want to hear.

    • Jensies says:

      Oh lord. Very few people who have been vaccinated have caught the virus. Even fewer have had serious complications or died of it. Read CNN rather than QAnon Reddit boards and you’d know that.