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Key Words: Dr. Fauci says the ‘worst time in the world’ for a government shutdown is in the middle of a pandemic

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Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have just one week to avoid a partial government shutdown, and Dr. Anthony Fauci is worried.

““The worst time in the world we want to shut down the government is in the middle of a pandemic where we have 140,000 people a day getting infected and 2,000 people a day dying.“”

Dr. Fauci, speaking with The Washington Post’s The Early 202, added that this is a time “when you want the government working full blast to address this.”

The nation’s leading disease expert added that he believes a shutdown would have a “profound effect” and “should be avoided, if at all possible.”

Read more: Here’s how a government shutdown would disrupt Washington and beyond

Fauci’s comments come as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the U.S. due to the highly transmissible delta variant. The U.S. is averaging its highest daily case count since late February at 2,075 COVID-19 deaths a day, according to a New York Times tracker. Hospitalizations are averaging 91,189 a day, and new cases are averaging 130,592 a day, levels last seen in the winter. Most new cases, hospitalizations and deaths are in unvaccinated people.

Nearly 55% of the total U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, while 64.3% of people 12-years-old and up have been fully vaccinated, according to a CDC tracker. Fauci told The Post that he’s “disappointed at the fact that we still have 70 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated but not yet gotten vaccinated.”

He also argued there will come a time for local vaccine mandates.

“You’re going to reach a point where you’re going to have people who the only way they’re going to get vaccinated is if it’s going to be inconvenient for them not to be vaccinated, and that’s where mandates come in,” Fauci said.

The Senate plans to vote as soon as Monday on a House-passed bill that would fund the government through early December. The bill, however, is expected to be killed in the Senate where it faces strong Republican opposition.

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