As the nation braces for potentially another round of nationwide pandemic restrictions and lockdowns as a result of the delta variant of COVID-19 surging around the country, Dr. Anthony Fauci seemingly just confirmed a nightmare scenario.
According to USA Today, Fauci told the outlet’s editorial board on Friday that once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the available COVID-19 vaccines, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director predicts there will be a “flood” of vaccine mandates across the country.
Fauci’s prediction aligns with popular speculation that one of the primary reasons as to why more businesses, schools, and other institutions have, so far, refrained from instituting mandates, is that the drug lacks FDA approval.
“Organizations, enterprises, universities, colleges that have been reluctant to mandate at the local level will feel much more confident,” Fauci said.
Fauci on lockdowns
Surprisingly, Fauci, who’s also President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, doesn’t seem to think that Americans will experience a new round of harsh lockdowns as they did last year, explaining that such measures were taken to keep hospitals from overflowing.
“The rationale for shutting down was that the hospital system would not be able to handle the surge of cases because everybody was getting sick,” Fauci explained.
Fauci also hopes that more of the public will be open to taking vaccinations, saying that he’s afraid too many Americans are “awash in lies and misinformation” about the virus, failing to acknowledge his past COVID-19 flip-flops that only further confused an entire nation.
Mandates already rolling out
Though Fauci believes that FDA approval will kickstart vaccine mandates nationwide, a number of organizations, companies, and even cities — such as New York City — have already announced such mandates.
As The Hill reported, Annelies Goger, a Rubenstein fellow at Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, believes restaurants requiring proof of vaccination is a smart move, given that the industry was devastated last year at the pandemic’s peak.
“It makes perfect sense to require vaccination to come inside because you’re putting your staff at risk again, and there’s just that issue of trying to avoid another lockdown at all costs and trying to make sure that your customers feel safe coming inside and are not risking infection,” Goger said.
Active duty U.S. military personnel could be next on the list, as the Military Times reported that the Biden administration could make a vaccine mandate announcement soon.
While there are millions of Americans who will applaud the rollout of mandates, there are just as many — if not more — who will protest the idea, setting up a potentially massive fight to finish out yet another bizarre year in America.