Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading infectious disease expert, during a White House briefing Tuesday appealed to eligible unvaccinated Americans to roll up their sleeves, receive shots and accelerate the timeline to the pandemic’s end.
"I would like to appeal to this country, to the people in the country who are not vaccinated, to realize that we have the capability among ourselves to essentially cut down the time frame to getting the end of this pandemic," Fauci said in part during a virtual briefing.
A day prior, Fauci said he misspoke during an interview with NPR, when he said if the majority of Americans get vaccinated, the country may get the virus under control by fall 2022. He later told CNN if a majority of some 90 million unvaccinated Americans sign up to take the vaccines – the country could get "some good control in the spring of 2022."
Data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates 60.3% of Americans age 12 and older, or all those eligible for vaccines, are fully vaccinated, with 71.1% receiving at least one dose. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC director, noted that the seven-day average of new daily cases and deaths are increasing, with about 137,000 new cases per day, or a 12% rise from the prior seven-day period, and about 739 deaths per day, or a 23% increase over the prior week. The seven-day average for hospitalizations was similar to the prior week at around 11,000 per day.
During the White House briefing Tuesday, a journalist questioned officials over the Biden administration’s plan if the country’s vaccination rate doesn’t increase as expected in the context of full licensure awarded to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
Fauci advised caution over asking for projected timelines before making his appeal to unvaccinated Americans eligible for shots.
Fox News' Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.