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Anthony Fauci. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Washington Post leadership summit Thursday that if 70% of Americans get at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine by July 4, the U.S. could avoid a case surge later in the year.

Why it matters: Fauci called the COVID-19 vaccine a "positive wild card" that wasn't present in the previous case upticks, but urged the U.S. to continue aggressively vaccinating its population.

What they're saying: “If we get to the president’s goal — which I believe we will attain — of getting 70 percent of people getting at least one dose, adults that is, by July 4, there will be enough protection in the community that I really don’t foresee there being the risk of a surge,” Fauci said.

  • He added that with vaccines that are as “highly effective as these ... you get a substantial proportion of the population vaccinated, the chances of there being a surge are extraordinarily low, I mean quite, quite low."

Of note: Earlier this month Fauci said that if the Biden administration reached its goal of vaccinating 70% of the population with at least one dose by July 4, it could turn COVID-19 surges into "blips."

  • Currently, 47.9% of Americans have received at least one dose, per the Post.

Go deeper

May 20, 2021 - Health

Vaccine boosters could be necessary as soon as September

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The first Americans to be vaccinated against the coronavirus could require a third "booster" shot as early as September, the CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna told Axios.

Driving the news: "The data that I see coming, they are supporting the notion that likely there will be a need for a booster somewhere between eight and 12 months," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said yesterday during an Axios event.

Mike Allen, author of AM
May 19, 2021 - Health

Fauci says people are "misinterpreting" the new CDC mask guidance

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Mandel Ngan-AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci told me for an Axios virtual event airing later today that many Americans are "misinterpreting" the CDC's new mask guidance, which lets vaccinated individuals forego masks indoors.

What he's saying: "I think people are misinterpreting, thinking that this is a removal of a mask mandate for everyone. It's not," Fauci told me. "It's an assurance to those who are vaccinated that they can feel safe, be they outdoors or indoors."

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios