September 25, 2021

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Fauci says Gov. Ivey ‘has every right to be frustrated’ by Alabama’s low vaccination rate – AL.com

2 min read

Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN Sunday morning that Gov. Kay Ivey “has every right to be frustrated” by Alabama’s worst-in-the-nation COVID-19 vaccination rate. But he said more politicians and influential people need to call on Americans to get the shot.

Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if he “share[s] Gov. Ivey’s anger” about unvaccinated people driving a surge in COVID cases in Alabama, Fauci, President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser, said he is “very frustrated” by the masses of Americans who have yet to get the vaccine.

“I can totally understand the governor’s frustration. So I don’t have any problem with that; she has every right to be frustrated,” Fauci said on Tapper’s Sunday morning talk show, State of the Union. “But what I would really like to see is more and more of the leaders in those areas that are not vaccinated to get out and speak out to encourage people to get vaccinated.”

Fauci added that he “was very heartened” to see politicians like U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Florida Gov. Ron Desantis, both Republicans like Ivey, calling for people to get vaccinated. But he said more must be done to slow the spread of the Delta variant.

“We’ve gotta get more people who relate well to the individuals who are not getting vaccinated to get out there and encourage them to get vaccinated as well as the trusted messengers in the community,” Fauci told Tapper. “We’ve just gotta do better, Jake, because we have the tools to do this. This is an unnecessary predicament we’re putting ourselves in.”

As of Thursday, Alabama was the only state in the nation in which fewer than 40% of eligible residents were fully vaccinated against COVID, according to federal data. Meanwhile, the seven-day average for new cases in Alabama has increased by over 500% since July 4, and hospitalizations due to COVID have surged by over 300%.

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