Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday failed to dismiss concerns over the potential for a “monster” coronavirus variant emerging, asserting there is “always a risk” of that occurring.
When asked about the potential for the situation to devolve “beyond Delta to monster variant” on Tuesday, Fauci did not dismiss the concern. Rather, he used it as a means to promote the Biden administration’s vaccination efforts.
“One of the reasons why we want to make sure we get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can is that viruses will not mutate if they don’t have the opportunity to spread and replicate,” he continued.
“So the more dynamics of viral activity you have in the community, the greater opportunity you give to the virus to mutate. So it’s one of those things that you’re vaccinating now to prevent the next mutant coming, the next variant from coming,” he added.
In early August, Fauci told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that the U.S. could risk seeing an endless cycle of variants that evade vaccines “if we don’t get good control over the community spread.”
If we don’t crush the outbreak to the point of getting the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated, 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 … is much more severe. Then we could really be in trouble.
Yet, this month, Fauci offered a slightly different response after MSNBC’s Joy Reid asked the White House medical adviser if he was “worried that we’re going to have a nightmare this winter as these variants continue to evolve.”
“Are we getting close to one that can beat all of our vaccines,” she asked, triggering a dismissive response from Fauci.
“Well, I’m not saying we’re close to that, Joy,” he said. “I think that would be a stretch to say that,” although he added, “There’s always the danger that that could happen.”