Fauci on federal vaccine mandate

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) – On Thursday, Dr Anthony Fauci shared his thoughts on the new vaccination strategy outlined by President Joe Biden and the delta variant during an interview with KARK of Nexstar in Arkansas.

The strategy, part of which calls for new Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules ordering companies with 100 or more employees to require weekly COVID-19 vaccinations or tests, has drawn strong opposition from federal and state GOP leaders.

Fauci said he would call on those lawmakers to think about why the president is making such a proposal, noting that we are currently experiencing an “unvaccinated pandemic” and saying the government has taken many steps to overcome vaccine hesitations.

“We have tried everything to get people to be vaccinated voluntarily. We made it as easy as possible, ”he said. “It’s available, it’s convenient, it’s safe, it works and it’s free, and yet there are still approximately 75 million people in the United States who are eligible to be vaccinated and who do not. have not been. “

He also said he hoped lawmakers in states such as Arkansas, where warrants came under immediate criticism, “would understand and appreciate” the steps Biden was taking to “keep the citizens of the country. ‘Arkansas safe not only for themselves but for their families and for their entire careers.

Fauci noted how part of the recently announced plan by the Biden administration to deal with the burgeoning pandemic would involve military medical response teams to help healthcare workers facing extreme burnout to be on the front lines. of this fight over the past 18 months.

One of the major changes with the delta variant of COVID-19 has been the increase in deaths and hospitalizations among young people. Arkansas set a new record this week for the number of school districts listed in high infection areas, with neighboring Mississippi having more than 18,800 positive cases among schoolchildren since the start of the year in August, officials say. health, a number higher than last year’s totals. . In states like Florida and Texas, school districts wanting to make masks mandatory to protect children and teachers are facing opposition from local politicians seeking to ban any mask directives.

Fauci said the challenges faced by local leaders regarding returning to school were difficult, but added that the best way to protect children when they return to class is to surround them with people who have been vaccinated. like teachers, school staff and older students.

Finally, Fauci was asked this week about a report claiming funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases provided federal funding to test for the coronavirus in a Wuhan lab.

“The research that was done was to be able to get information to help us protect ourselves from future pandemics as this was done as a result of SARS CoV-1, which you will recall was a pandemic. in 2002, ”Fauci said.

Fauci said the research was well regulated and had nothing to do with SARS CoV-2.

“People are inappropriately trying to connect with each other,” Fauci said, calling the report “misleading”.

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