Dr. Anthony Fauci
, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said he was shocked to see attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference
cheering that the United States
had not met its vaccination
“It’s horrifying; they’re cheering someone saying it’s a good thing for people
not to try to save their lives,” Fauci said on CNN
’s “State of the Union
” with Jake Tapper
“I mean, if you just unpack that for a second, Jake, it’s almost frightening to say, ‘Hey, guess what, we don’t want you to do something to save your life. Yay!’ Everybody starts screaming
and clapping. I just don’t get that,” he said.
Fauci was responding to a video clip of author Alex Berenson, who spoke on Saturday at CPAC
“The government was hoping to sucker 90% of the population into getting vaccinated,” said Berenson, who routinely spreads misinformation
and was dubbed “The Pandemic
’s Wrongest Man” by The Atlantic
“And it's not happening,” he added, drawing applause from the audience.
Dr. Fauci describes the declining vaccination rate in the United States as a "very, very frustrating situation": "We have more vaccines
in this country than we know what to do with - everybody & anybody can get vaccinated, and we have people all over the world who would do anything to get vaccinated." pic.twitter.com/H2441kOQr0 — Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 11, 2021
Emerging strains of COVID-19 are causing the number of new cases to rise again in some parts of the country, and states with low vaccination rates are reporting more deaths from the virus; nearly all COVID-19 deaths last month occurred among unvaccinated people.
A recent Washington
poll found that 93% of Democrats
had received or planned to receive a vaccine, compared to 49% of Republicans
In the face of declining vaccination rates, the Biden administration
has called for a door-to-door campaign to disseminate information about vaccine safety and life-saving efficacy.
Fauci urged viewers to put aside ideological differences and the notion that the “government is knocking on your door trying to force you to vaccinate.”
“That is not the case at all,” he stated. “We are using trusted messengers to try and get people to understand and appreciate why it is important for their own safety, the safety of their families, and the safety of the community as a whole. There is no reason not to get vaccinated.”