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Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that the United States is unlikely to return to lockdowns but that the "outbreak" driven by the Delta variant is likely to get worse.

Why it matters: Fauci's statements come as the United States experiences an uptick of COVID-19 cases. Nationwide, the average number of new cases per day jumped 55% over the last two weeks.

  • "I don't think we're gonna see lockdowns. I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country — not enough to crush the outbreak — but I believe enough to not allow us to get into the situation we were in last winter," Fauci said on ABC's "This Week."
  • "But things are going to get worse," he added.

The big picture: The Delta variant now comprises over 80% of the coronavirus cases in the country.

  • Cases have been increasing since around late June, according to CDC data.
  • And a CDC report noted that "vaccination is the most important strategy to prevent severe illness and death."

What he's saying: "The issue is, if you're going to be part of the transmission chain to someone else, then your decision is impacting someone else," Fauci said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

  • "It's not only impacting you. And you've got to think about it, that you are a member of society and you have a responsibility," he added.

Go deeper

Updated 16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull — Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies— Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker
Nov 8, 2021 - World

Singapore halts free COVID treatment for people "unvaccinated by choice"

A medical staff member attends to a woman at the Mount Elizabeth hospital vaccine centre in Singapore. Photo: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images

The Singaporean government will no longer cover medical bills for people who are "unvaccinated by choice" after Dec. 8, the country's Ministry of Health announced Monday.

Why it matters: "We have to send this important signal to urge everyone to get vaccinated if you are eligible," Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said at a news conference. 82.47% of Singapore's population is fully vaccinated, per Johns Hopkins University.

Study: Over 25,000 tons of COVID-related plastic waste pollutes oceans

Plastic debris and face masks on a beach in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Photo: Andrey Nekrasov/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Over 25,000 tons of pandemic-related plastic waste pollute the global ocean, according to a study published in the journal PNAS on Monday.

Why it matters: Plastic waste poses a major threat to marine life and ecosystems. COVID-19 only increased the demand for single-use plastic, "intensifying pressure on this already out-of-control problem," the researchers write.