WASHINGTON – If it were its own country, the state of Florida would be one of the worst in the world in terms of rising COVID-19 cases, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday in an exclusive interview with Local 10 News.
“I am concerned about all of Florida,” said Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President. “If you look at the rate of increase, the inflection of increase, the number of cases. You know Florida would be right up there, if Florida was a country it would be one of the worse countries when it comes to the increase in cases.”
The White House COVID-19 Response team echoed that remarks during Thursday’s press briefing.
“In the past week Florida has had more COVID cases than all 30 states with the lowest case rates combined,” said Jeff Zients.
Fauci is urging South Floridians to get the COVID-19 vaccine saying “I am essentially pleading with people in Florida to realize that there is a solution to this problem.”
Fauci also said he expected the imminent approval from the FDA of a third vaccine booster shot for people who are immunocompromised.
“I expect it today, and I expect tomorrow that the advisory committee on immunization practices for the CDC will advise them about how to implement that,” Fauci said Thursday before that approval did come.
Asked if he expects everyone will need a booster at some point, Fauci responded:
“You know, I don’t know that. I do believe that this vaccine, particularly in the context of [the] delta [variant], the protection is not going to be indefinite in its durability.”
Fauci is now studying the data to see if and when science shows a booster shot is needed.