99 percent of US COVID deaths are unvaccinated people: Fauci

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Dr. Yomaris Pena, Internal Medicine Physician with Somos Community Care, extracts the last bit of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine out of a vial at the Corsi Houses in East Harlem on Jan. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

WASHINGTON — America’s top infectious disease expert says about 99.2% of recent COVID-19 deaths in the United States involved unvaccinated people. And Dr. Anthony Fauci says “it’s really sad and tragic that most all of these are avoidable and preventable.”

He tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” it’s frustrating “where you have a formidable enemy” in the coronavirus and “yet we do have a countermeasure that’s highly, highly effective. And that’s the reason why it’s all the more sad and all the more tragic why it isn’t being completely implemented in this country.”

Fauci cites the reasons for opposition to the vaccine by some Americans, whether it’s “ideological” or whether some “are just fundamentally anti-vax or anti-science.”

He says the country does “have the tools to counter” the pandemic and he’s asking people to “put aside all of those differences and realize that the common enemy is the virus.”

Fauci notes the United States is “very fortunate” that it has “enough vaccines to vaccinate essentially everybody in the country. And there are people throughout the world who would do anything to get vaccines.”

The United States has registered over 605,000 deaths in the pandemic, the highest national toll in the world.

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