October 3 (WNN) — Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that many of the 700,000 US COVID-19 deaths were “avoidable” as he urged millions of illiterate Americans to defend themselves against the virus.
Appearing on CNN state of the UnionFauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he hopes the grim milestone will encourage the 70 million Americans who haven’t been vaccinated to “use” the tool to prevent further deaths. .
“Obviously because of the enormity of the challenge of this outbreak and the extraordinary virus spreading so rapidly, many of those deaths were inevitable, but many are avoidable, were avoidable, and will be avoidable in the future,” Fauci said. “The numbers themselves are staggering… but hopefully then we will realize that we have interventions in the form of a vaccine to prevent infection, to prevent serious disease, to prevent death. “
As of Sunday, the United States has recorded a total of 43,673,190 total COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, as well as 700,982 deaths, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. have happened.
Meanwhile, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that 75.8% of eligible Americans age 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, compared with 65.4% who are fully vaccinated.
The Food and Drug Administration on September 22 approved a third booster dose for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people over the age of 65, as well as for people aged 18-64 who have severe COVID-19. are at high risk and who often face institutional or occupational exposure to COVID-19.
According to the CDC, a total of 5.29 million people, or 2.9% of those who are fully vaccinated, have received a booster dose.
A total of 15 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, West, have yet to fully vaccinate more than half of their residents. Virginia and Wyoming.
Despite the milestone deaths, the CDC reported a seven-day average of 8,321 new COVID-19 hospitalizations from September 22-28, down 14.9% from September 15-21.
The Department of Health and Human Services also reported that 66,151 ICU beds were in use, representing 78.29% of beds in 6,178 reporting hospitals.
According to HHS Idaho, Wyoming, West Virginia and Georgia are all using more than 40% of their hospital ICU beds for COVID-19 patients.
The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus in the United States was 71,325, or 9.32% of the total 783,163 bed capacity.
On Friday, pharmaceutical company Merck announced that it is seeking FDA approval for an emergency use authorization for an anti-coronavirus drug that reduced hospitalizations by nearly 50% in clinical trials. is lacking.
Fauci said Sunday that the development of the drug was “extremely important” but said its presence was not a replacement for vaccination.
“Being infected is never okay. You heard the numbers. It reduced the risk of hospitalization and death by 50%. You know how to reduce the risk 100%? Don’t get infected in the first place.”