America's top doctor believes there will be "a flood" of vaccine mandates at businesses and schools pending approval of the COVID vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted the vaccine approval would embolden "organizations, enterprises, universities, [and] colleges that have been reluctant to mandate [the vaccine] at the local level."
"They can say, 'If you want to come to this college or this university, you've got to get vaccinated. If you want to work in this plant, you have to get vaccinated," said Fauci. "If you want to work in this enterprise, you've got to get vaccinated. If you want to work in this hospital, you've got to get vaccinated."
With a federal mandate unlikely, Fauci doesn't think more lockdowns are the solution.
"The rationale for shutting down was that the hospital system would not be able to handle the surge of cases because everybody was getting sick," he said.
Upwards of 70 percent of US adults had at least one dose of the vaccine, the epidemic has shifted to one of the unvaccinated, said Fauci. They were needed only to "flatten the curve" at the beginning of the pandemic.
"When you walk into a hospital, what you're going to see is a lot of young people, some of whom are seriously ill, but you're not seeing an overwhelming outstripping of the capability of the hospitals throughout the country," he said.
Fauci said he concerns himself less with the opposition from the media than protecting America's public health. reported USA Today. He argued the public is "being misled," citing the misinformation spread on COVID and vaccines.
"This is a dystopian world we're living in," said Fauci.
Fauci told the publication that he believes a vaccine mandate could end the epidemic "once and for all if everyone would get vaccinated." Without that in place, he worries Americans will be fighting COVID-19 for the long term.
With COVID-19 cases rising among the unvaccinated as the highly contagious delta variant spreads, Fauci hopes people's "better angels" will prevail over the sea of lies on social media.
He hopes Americans will say, "I'm not going to take any of this. I'm seeing everybody around me get sick and dying. Let me just go ahead and get vaccinated.'"
While children under 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine, he strongly urges the adults around them to get vaccinated and be their protection. He added that all school staff, including teachers, assistants, janitors, need to be vaccinated upon their return to work because school "should be a protected environment."
The current political environment prevents children under 12 from being vaccinated, so Fauci said that masks are the best alternative after vaccines.
"Schools are crucial for children's mental health and intellectual, physical and social development, so it's important they stay open," adding, "I would rather have a child be a little bit uncomfortable with a mask on and be healthy than a comfortable child without a mask in an ICU."
"It just doesn't make any sense to me why you would want to not protect the children," he said. "You will get a smoldering level of infection that will just go right into the fall, get confused with influenza in the winter and then come back again in the spring."
He added: "The unvaccinated will continue to get sick and some will die. The young and healthy are statistically not likely to become seriously ill if infected, but they don't live in a vacuum," said Fauci. "The more people who are infected, the more chance the virus has to mutate into an even more dangerous variant."
"All of the sudden, your decision not to get vaccinated goes beyond your own vacuum and influences society." He notes that COVID-19 is different from many vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, which doesn't mutate.
"If we're protected against measles here and there are a million cases of measles in Afghanistan or in India or in Uganda or in Kenya and somebody comes over here, it almost doesn't matter. But if we're protected against one group of (COVID-19) variants and a bizarre variant emerges somewhere in a low- or middle-income country, then we're vulnerable," he said.
Fauci emphasized in his closing remarks that while the COVID-19 vaccines are not perfect, "they do one thing extraordinarily well – keep people who get COVID-19 from becoming severely ill or dying."
"The reason to get vaccinated is not so that you can go around without wearing a mask," he said. The reason is "because we don't want you to wind up in the ICU. And I can guarantee you 99 percent that if you get vaccinated, you are not going to wind up in the ICU."