Republicans who refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19 are actively “working” against efforts to lift the very restrictions against coronavirus, which they insist represent a violation of their civil liberties, said Dr. on Sunday. Anthony Fauci, a leading U.S. government expert on infectious diseases.
Fauci, who was involved in a fiery exchange of issues with Republican Congressman Jim Jordan on Thursday, told CNN the Union State that he was frustrated by recent studies showing that up to 45% of Republicans will not take the vaccine.
“The fact that someone may not want to be vaccinated, in this case a disturbingly large number of Republicans, actually only works against where they want to be,” he said.
“They want to be able to say that those restrictions that set recommendations for public health are things they are very worried about. But the way you can get rid of these limitations is to vaccinate as many people as possible and as efficiently as possible.
“When that happens with complete certainty, you’ll see the level of the virus in the community going down and down and falling to the point that you wouldn’t have to have those public health restrictions.”
Fauci said the stance shown by Republican vaccine deniers was “paradoxical.”
“On the one hand, they want to be free of restrictions. On the other hand, they don’t want to be vaccinated, it just makes almost no sense, ”he said. “This is a public health issue, not a civil liberties issue.”
Fauci clashed with Jordan, a congressman from Ohio, when U.S. top health officials testified before Congress on Thursday, and Jordan asked Fauci when Americans “regain their freedom and liberty.”
“We are not talking about freedoms. We are talking about a pandemic that killed 560,000 Americans, “Fauci told the congressman.
Approximately one in four members of the House of Representatives was not vaccinated until March, three months after the shootings became available. The list of those not vaccinated is not publicly available, but several Republican members of Congress have admitted they have no plans to get stabbed.
Fauci’s comments come amid a resurgence of Covid-19 across the U.S., with an 8% increase in new cases in the past two weeks, although the number of vaccinated continues to rise, to nearly 265 million by Saturday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) .
Fauci said the one-time vaccine Johnson & Johnson, whose use was discontinued in the U.S. last week after reports of extremely rare and severe blood clots in six women, could be renewed as early as Friday at a meeting of the CDC’s immunization practice advisory board. (ACIP).
“I doubt very seriously that it will simply cancel,” he said in a later appearance for NBC’s Meet the Press. “I think there will probably be some kind of warning or restriction or risk assessment. I do not think [the advisory committee] will say, “it’s all right,” I think he’ll probably say, “Okay, we’ll use it, but be careful in these particular circumstances.”
He said that although incidences of blood clots were rare, “you have six cases in close to seven million people,” he said, a temporary suspension of the J&J vaccine is necessary.
“It’s a twofold reason to do that, to stop and take a closer look, and to make sure doctors treat people appropriately,” he said.
Meanwhile, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer admitted on Sunday that her state was in a “very serious moment” as new infections continued to rise, but continued to resist growing pressure to return to restrictions it lifted in March.
Michigan has become the new focus of Covid-19, with hospitalizations setting a new pandemic record last week, and the state has recorded more than 2,200 cases of the B117 coronavirus variant, more than one-tenth of the total for the entire U.S..
“In the past months I’ve been sued by my legislature, I’ve lost in the Supreme Court under the control of the Republic and I don’t have all the same tools,” Whitmer told MTP host Chuck Todd, who asked if he supported it beyond a firmer stance.
“Despite these things, we still have some of the strongest mitigation measures in the country, masked mandates, capacity limits, work from home. We’re moving fast to get gunshots, a million in two weeks, a million in just the last nine days. [But] I work with a smaller set of tools at my disposal.
“We are in a very serious moment and that is why we will continue to follow science, asking people to do the right things, maintain our mitigation and move vaccines as quickly as possible.”
Globally, coronavirus deaths crossed the dark limit of three million on Saturday. Jeremy Farrar, director of the British organization Wellcome Trust, warned that the actual number of deaths is probably much higher.
“It is worrying that this pandemic is still growing at an alarming rate. Hundreds of thousands die every month, ”he said.
The United States leads the world in mortality from Covid-19 with 566,937 deaths and nearly 32 million cases, more than twice as many as any other country, according to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine on Sunday.