The United States is heading in the wrong direction as the country scrambles to fight a new surge of COVID-19 cases because of the Delta variant and a large number of unvaccinated people, Anthony Fauci warned.
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"We are going in the wrong direction… It is really a pandemic among the unvaccinated, so this is an issue predominantly among the unvaccinated, which is the reason why we are out there, practically pleading with the unvaccinated people to go out and get vaccinated," he said.
While the U.S. still has the highest number of confirmed cases, India had surpassed America in terms of new daily cases in the past few weeks. However, as infections stagnated in India, the U.S. again surpassed India's tally of new cases.
On Monday, the United States reported a staggering seven-day average of 52,000 infections. A new study also found that the U.S. total number of COVID-19 infections may have been undercounted by as much as 60 percent. Researchers at the University of Washington found that as many as 65 million of Americans may have already been infected.
As of Tuesday, the total confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed 34.6 million, while the country's death toll amounted to over 611,410. Last week, 48 states had a seven-day average of new cases at least 10 percent higher than the week before. In 34 of those states, the rate of new cases increased by over 50 percent.
Meanwhile, Fauci has recently defended the natural origin theory of the novel coronavirus on several occasions. On July 17, Fauci told CNN that "the most likely explanation is a natural evolution from an animal reservoir to a human." He had also repeatedly cited a scientific paper that largely dismissed the possibility that the coronavirus escaped from a lab.
According to the Washington Examiner, in the paper, titled "The Origins of SARS-CoV-2: A Critical Review," a group of 20 internationally renowned virologists and evolutionary biologists from all over the world note that theories about a lab leak are almost all based on coincidence, not hard evidence.
Fauci was recently found to express his belief in natural origin theory of the novel coronavirus in his exchanges of emails with British zoologist Peter Daszak, who thanked Fauci in an email on April 18, 2020, for "publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover."