Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday morning that the U.S.’ mass vaccination effort will likely prevent another “explosion” of coronavirus cases resulting in a fourth wave.
“As long as we keep vaccinating people efficiently and effectively, I don’t think [a fourth wave’s] gonna happen,” Fauci told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
He did, however, say that the U.S. could still witness an increase in cases, and that the reopening of multiple states could contribute. But, he said, “I think the vaccine is going to prevent that from happening.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci on whether we’ll have a fourth COVID surge:
“I think that the vaccine is gonna prevent that from happening.”
But he does warn against prematurely stopping mitigation efforts. pic.twitter.com/4NWC8on9gX
— The Recount (@therecount) April 6, 2021
His comments follow mixed messaging from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and warnings from some public health officials that the U.S. is on the brink of a fourth wave.
“Now is one of those times when I have to share the truth and I have to hope and trust you will listen. I’m gonna pause here, I’m gonna lose the script and I’m gonna reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on March 29. “We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope, but right now I’m scared.”
While cases have slightly increased in recent weeks, daily deaths have continued to fall nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. Case counts have also varied in different states. In much of the south and western U.S., daily cases have remained steady or slightly decreased, but have remained high in the midwest and northeast.
Cases have skyrocketed across Michigan, where the coronavirus infection rate is the highest in the country, according to the CDC. The state expanded vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 and older Monday, following over 10,000 new cases reported last weekend.
The U.S. vaccination rate has also steadily increased, with the nation averaging close to three million daily shots and vaccinating almost 3.7 million Americans on April 1 alone, according to the CDC. Over 167 million shots have been administered since the vaccines were first approved in December.