Dr Anthony Fauci had urged Americans to drop their ‘political statement’ against vaccines and get a Covid-19 jab
US Representative Lauren Boebert has accused Dr Anthony Fauci of “bullying” for telling people to “get over” their political stance and get vaccinated against Cvoid-19 for the sake of themselves and their families.
The Colorado Republican lawmaker retweeted a Daily Caller post that quoted the US government’s foremost specialist in infectious diseases as saying: “What is the problem? Get over it. Get over this political statement. Just get over it, and try and save the lives of yourself and your family.”
Attached to the post was a video clip from an interview that Dr Fauci gave to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, in which he pleads with vaccine-hesitant Americans, pointing out that the shots are free and readily available.
Ms Boebert commented: “I guess we’re done with the lotteries and bribing and now on to bullying” – a slight at the efforts by cities, states, and private companies to offer incentives to people to get take the vaccine, ranging from free beer and doughnuts to college scholarships and cash prizes.
Twitter users sharply rebuked Ms Boebert for her tweet. One response said: “So you’re basically saying your okay with your constituents getting Covid and possibly dying?”
“That’s bullying? You carry a gun everywhere you and this scares you?” wrote one user.
Another post reads: “Q-Bert this is hardly ‘bullying’. Please stop being so dramatic and just get vaccinated. Join the modern world. It’s fun over here.”
The Biden administration had to acknowledge that it missed the 4 July goal of having 70 per cent of American adults receive at least one dose and 160 million people fully vaccinated.
Currently, 158.3 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, or 55.8 per cent of the population over 12 years old – those currently eligible for the vaccine.
Americans over the age of 12 that have received at least one dose total 183 million, or 64.5 per cent of the population.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden renewed calls for Americans to get vaccinated after being briefed on the state of the pandemic as the Delta variant spreads across the country and represents more than half of new cases.
“Our fight against this virus is not over. Right now, as I speak to you, millions of Americans are still unvaccinated and unprotected. And because of that, their communities are at risk, their friends are at risk, the people that they care about are at risk. This is an even bigger concern because of the Delta variant,” said Mr Biden.
A divide has become evident in the US between urban and suburban areas and more heavily populated states with high vaccination rates, and rural and less densely populated areas where vaccination rates are low.
Research by Georgetown University has identified five hot spot clusters across eight states that may be particularly vulnerable to surges in Covid-19 cases or develop new variants.
In an area stretching from Georgia in the east, to Texas in the west, and north into southern Missouri, which includes several cities, only a quarter of residents are vaccinated.
A significant spike in cases is already evident in Missouri and Arkansas, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently listing both states as having high levels of community transmission.
The fear amongst the medical community is that areas such as these could become breeding grounds for the virus to mutate into a new variant that may render existing vaccines less effective.