The COVID-19 surge fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant is “going to get worse," White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci is now warning.
The Delta variant now makes up 83 percent of news cases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That's up from 50 percent from the beginning of July.
Fauci said that he doesn't think the lockdowns that were put into effect last year are likely to return because there are effective vaccines to combat the virus.
"I don't think we're gonna see lockdowns," Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told ABC-TV's “This Week” on Sunday, Aug. 1. "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."
Six states have seen the number of new COVID cases increase by more than 400 percent in recent weeks: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
"We should think about the Delta variant as the 2020 version of COVID-19 on steroids," Andy Slavitt, a former senior adviser to Joe Biden's COVID Response Team, told CNN. "It's twice as infectious.
"Fortunately, unlike 2020, we actually have a tool that stops the Delta variant in its tracks: It's called a vaccine."
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