“I have been of this opinion, and I remain of that opinion, that I do believe at the local level, Jake, there should be more mandates,” Fauci, who has become perhaps the federal government’s public face regarding its COVID-19 response, told CNN on Sunday in reference to vaccine mandates. “There really should be. We’re talking about [a] life-and-death situation. We’ve lost 600,000 Americans already, and we’re still losing more people.”
Fauci then said that if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approves the COVID-19 shots, it would trigger “a lot more mandates” at the local level. Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, did not elaborate on what he believed a vaccine mandate should look like at the local level.
“I think the hesitancy at the local level of doing mandates is because the vaccines have not been officially, fully approved, but people need to understand that the amount of data right now that shows a high degree of effectiveness and a high degree of safety is more than we’ve ever seen with emergency use authorization,” he added.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 48 percent of Americans have been fully vaccinated while 55 percent have received at least one dose.
At the same time, federal health officials have increasingly started issuing warnings about the “Delta” variant that they have said is more contagious, although it’s not clear whether it’s more deadly. The Delta variant has already sparked more lockdowns in Australia, Malaysia, Israel, Vietnam, and other countries.
In recent weeks, Fauci has come under fire after thousands of his emails were published online following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. When the emails were posted online, critics noted that he appeared to have had knowledge about the theory that the virus may have emerged from the secretive Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
That spurred calls from Republican lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), to call for his ouster and argued that he repeatedly misled the public.
“I know the American people don’t have trust in Dr. Fauci,” McCarthy said during an interview with Breitbart News on June 5. “Let’s find a person we can trust. Take politics aside. I mean, we’re talking about American lives here.”
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.