COVID-19's highly infectious Delta variant has been causing considerable misery in the U.S., especially in red states with low vaccination rates. And according to expert immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, a COVID-19 variant that is even worse than Delta may wreak havoc in the United States if more Americans don't get vaccinated.
In an interview with McClatchy, the 80-year-old Fauci — who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and is President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser — warned, "What we're seeing, because of this increase in transmissibility, and because we have about 93 million people in this country who are eligible to get vaccinated who don't get vaccinated — that you have a significant pool of vulnerable people."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70% of U.S.-based adults have been at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19. That figure is taking into consideration the U.S. on the whole; vaccination rates can vary considerably from one state to the next.
Some of the lowest vaccination rates are in deeply Republican states. The Mayo Clinic reports that the number of U.S. residents who have been at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19 ranges from 75% in Vermont and 72% in Massachusetts to 39% in Mississippi, 43% in Alabama and Mississippi and 49% in Missouri.
A major difference between the current COVID-19 surge that is pounding the U.S. and previous surges is that this one is, according to Biden's administration, a "pandemic of the unvaccinated."
Fauci told McClatchy, "Even if we vaccinated everyone today, we're not going to see an effect until the middle to end of September."
The more COVID-19 is allowed to spread in the U.S., according to Fauci, the more dangerous a variant that is worse than the Delta variant will be.
"If we don't crush the outbreak to the point of getting the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated," Fauci told McClatchy, "then what will happen is the virus will continue to smolder through the fall into the winter, giving it ample chance to get a variant — which, quite frankly, we're very lucky that the vaccines that we have now do very well against the variants, particularly against severe illness. We're very fortunate that that's the case. There could be a variant that's lingering out there that can push aside Delta."
Fauci added, "If another one comes along that has an equally high capability of transmitting but also, is much more severe, then we could really be in trouble. People who are not getting vaccinated mistakenly think it's only about them. But it isn't. It's about everybody else, also."
'Did Nazi this coming': Trump's PAC brutally mocked over plan to issue membership cards to loyal supporters
Social media users erupted in horror and mockery on Thursday morning after former president Donald Trump's PAC revealed in an email that it plans to issue official "Trump cards" that MAGA supporters can carry to show their loyalty to their "dear leader."
"We're about to launch our Official Trump Cards, which will be reserved for President Trump's STRONGEST supporters," the PAC wrote in the email, asking supporters to vote for their favorite of four proposed designs.
Those who voted by clicking on one of the four proposed designs were, naturally, redirected to a fundraising page.
"We recently met with the President in his Florida office and showed him four designs," the email continued. "Originally we were planning on releasing just one design, but when President Trump saw the cards on his desk, he said, 'These are BEAUTIFUL. We should let the American People decide - they ALWAYS know best!'" the email said.
All four of the designs say "Official Trump card" and bear the logo of his Save America PAC. They include the former president's signature above text saying, "Authorized by president Donald Trump," as well as a place for the name of the "member," along with an ID number and the date when their membership began.
On Twitter, several users claimed that the eagle on one of the designs bares an eerie resemblance to the Reichsadler or "imperial eagle," which was combined with a swastika in the official German national emblem adopted by by Adolf Hitler.
The Trump Cards look a bit to similar to something else... https://t.co/JAqrrw54Oq— 💙🦅 Anis Jerbi 🦅💙 (@💙🦅 Anis Jerbi 🦅💙) 1628156494.0
Trump cards are the Nazi crest in distinctly Russian red and gold https://t.co/yoEXo7GWvE— Duty To Warn 🔉 (@Duty To Warn 🔉) 1628157675.0
The Mark of the Fleeced https://t.co/S0oO86eYjf— Zachery "Cormac McCarthy" Tyson (@Zachery "Cormac McCarthy" Tyson) 1628155300.0
Benefits of the Trump Card: Premium Boarding at Trump Shuttle * VIP Box Seating at New Jersey Generals home games… https://t.co/V0fwOz6VKg— Tomi Ahonen Carries The Moron Level Trump Card (@Tomi Ahonen Carries The Moron Level Trump Card) 1628153853.0
The SLIGHT irony here. Just slight.. RT @StirShaken Don’t want to carry ‘proof of vaccine’ cards, but now Donald T… https://t.co/G7xWVFGo8y— Tomi Ahonen Carries The Moron Level Trump Card (@Tomi Ahonen Carries The Moron Level Trump Card) 1628149200.0
All them Trump cards are gonna decline. 😂 https://t.co/SYFaRun4BK— Black Lives Matter 🇺🇸 (@Black Lives Matter 🇺🇸) 1628158823.0
Honestly, I think these Official #WeLost Trump Cards aren't a bad idea. It could help with acceptance. #TRUMPCARD… https://t.co/Vskvoo0YsU— Producer Dad (@Producer Dad) 1628142585.0
GOP leaders face a new 'headache' after refusing to condemn 2022 candidates who attended Capitol riot
Republican leaders eager to move on from the Capitol insurrection face a new "headache" as 2022 midterm elections approach: GOP congressional candidates who were present for the Jan. 6 riot — some of whom participated in it.
"Those candidates' ties to the Jan. 6 attack are the latest headache — and in some cases, potential political liability — for House Republicans as they deal with fallout from the Trump-led rally that metastasized into a coup attempt," Politico reports. "It's impossible to know how many of the GOP's still-growing crop of candidates this cycle took part in the riot. But Democrats are already preparing to lean into the issue of Trump-linked extremism within the Republican ranks, which they're betting will hurt the GOP in key battleground districts next fall."
At least three known GOP congressional candidates were reportedly present at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Daniel Orden, a "prized GOP recruit" from Wisconsin, has tried to distance himself from the insurrection, saying he left Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally when violence erupted — even though a photo appears to show him in a restricted area. Meanwhile, Teddy Daniels of Pennsylvania posted a video from near the Capitol steps with the caption "I Am Here. God Bless Our Patriots," and Tina Forte of New York — who is vying to unseat Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — posed for a photo wearing black body armor and displayed a white power hand gesture.
Thus far, the National Republican Congressional Committee has declined to condemn the candidates.
GOP Congressman Tom Emmer of Minnesota, who leads the NRCC, referred to those who attended the "Stop the Steal" rally as "patriots," adding: "The beauty of this country is that anybody who wants to run for office can. ... I want as many people as possible who share our values to step up and be the voice and run for office."
NRCC spokesman Michael McAdams added: "Chairman Emmer has made it clear — and still believes — anyone who broke the law needs to be held accountable ... Unlike Democrats, we believe the voters will ultimately make these decisions, not dictators in Washington."
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