- Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was horrified to see CPAC attendees cheer that the US was unable to vaccinate 90% of people.
- A crowd cheered when a CPAC speaker said the US government wasn’t able to “sucker” people into getting vaccinated.
- “I don’t think that anybody who is thinking clearly can get that,” Fauci said Sunday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday he was horrified when attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) appeared to cheer about the US failing to reach its vaccination goal this month.
Video of a CPAC discussion at its second conference of 2021 in Dallas posted to social media appeared to show the crowd cheering on the US’ inability to vaccinate most of its population.
“They were hoping — the government was hoping — they could sucker 90% of the population into getting vaccinated. And it isn’t happening,” said Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter who The Atlantic earlier this year dubbed “the pandemic’s wrongest man.”
Berenson was interrupted by cheers from the audience before he continued, claiming that younger people were avoiding getting vaccination because of potential side effects.
—Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) July 10, 2021
“It’s horrifying,” Fauci said Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“They are cheering about someone saying that it’s a good thing for people not to try and save their lives,” he added. “I mean, if you just unpack that for a second… 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.
Fauci added: “I just don’t get that, and I don’t think that anybody who is thinking clearly can get that.”
President Joe Biden in March set a goal of having 70% of the US adult population vaccinated with at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4. The US did not meet that milestone, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 68% of the US adult population has been partially vaccinated against COVID-19, receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. In total, about 55% of the US population is partially vaccinated. About 48% of the US population is fully vaccinated against the disease, according to CDC data as of July 10.
Vaccine hesitancy has created new concerns about COVID-19 spikes as the more contagious Delta variant becomes the dominant COVID-19 strain in the US. States with lagging vaccination numbers, like Arkansas, have seen an uptick in new cases as the variant takes hold.