As the country grapples with a surge in the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, Dr. Anthony Fauci believes that lockdowns the country saw last year are not likely to return, though he warned "things will get worse" during an interview on ABC's "This Week."
"I don't think we're gonna see lockdowns. I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country — not enough to crush the outbreak — but I believe enough to not allow us to get into the situation we were in last winter. But things are going to get worse," Fauci told "This Week" co-anchor Jonathan Karl on Sunday.
"If you look at the acceleration of the number of cases, the seven-day average has gone up substantially. You know what we really need to do, Jon, we say it over and over again and it's the truth, we have 100 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not getting vaccinated. We are seeing an outbreak of the unvaccinated," he added.
"From the standpoint of illness, hospitalization, suffering and death, the unvaccinated are much more vulnerable because the vaccinated are protected from severe illness for the most part, but when you look at the country as a whole. And getting us back to normal, the unvaccinated, by not being vaccinated, are allowing the propagation and the spread of the outbreak which ultimately impacts," Fauci said,
Concerns over the coronavirus resurged this week, as new details about the outbreak of the virus in Provincetown, Massachusetts have raised concerns that the now-dominant delta variant may be able to spread among fully vaccinated people.
During an investigation of the outbreak, researchers learned that the amount of virus in the noses of vaccinated people experiencing a breakthrough infection was the same as in an unvaccinated person — a concerning sign that vaccinated people can also spread the virus.
The data helped the CDC make its decision to bring mask guidelines back for vaccinated individuals in areas of high or substantial spread of the virus — despite the fact that breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals are overwhelmingly mild and do not result in hospitalization or death.
"So you want them to wear a mask, so that if in fact they do get infected, they don't spread it to vulnerable people perhaps in their own household, children or people with underlying conditions," Fauci said of the new guidance for the vaccinated.
ABC News' Sony Salzman contributed to this report.
This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.
Fauci warns 'things are going to get worse' with COVID originally appeared on abcnews.go.com