Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said he believes “things are going to get worse” as the United States experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases but added he does not expect widespread lockdowns to return.
ABC News’ This Week host John Karl asked Fauci if he believes the current surge, which has seen all 50 states report rising cases in the past seven days, according to Johns Hopkins University, is just a “temporary setback” amid the presence of the more infectious Delta variant.
“I don’t think we’re going to see lockdowns. I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country [vaccinated] — 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,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
NEW: White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci tells @jonkarl, "things are going to get worse," as COVID-19 cases surge with delta variant.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 1, 2021
The United States continues to lead the world with 34,984,164 total infections since the start of the pandemic and 613,172 deaths, according to on Saturday.
The CDC also reported that 82.2% of infections reported from July 4-17 were caused by the Delta variant.
Fauci noted that the seven-day average of COVID-19 cases has “gone up substantially,” rising to 72,493 as of Friday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On Saturday, the CDC reported Florida recorded its highest single-day total of new cases since the start of the pandemic with 21,683 infections.
Fauci noted that 100 million people in the United States who are eligible to be vaccinated had not been fully inoculated, echoing comments by CDC Director Rachel Wolensky and President Joe Biden in stating that “we are seeing an outbreak of the unvaccinated.
“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 us getting back to normal, the unvaccinated, by not being vaccinated, are allowing the propagation and the spread of the outbreak which ultimately impacts everybody,” he said.