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Fauci: 'Absolutely inevitable' Trump followers would get COVID vaccine if Trump gave the word

"He's a very widely popular person among Republicans," Fauci said about Trump.

Updated: March 15, 2021 - 9:35am

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White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Sunday that the U.S. could potentially experience another coronavirus surge and also said that if former President Trump would publicly urge his supporters to get a COVID-19 vaccination most of them would probably decide to get vaccinated.

The former president is "a very widely popular person among Republicans," Fauci said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday." "If he came out and said, 'Go and get vaccinated, it's really important for your health, the health of your family and the health of the country,' it seems absolutely inevitable that the vast majority of people who are his close followers would listen to him."

Fauci warned that there is a possibility that the U.S. could experience another coronavirus surge.

"But when you see a plateauing at a level of anywhere between 50,000 and 65,000 cases a day, that is absolutely no time to declare victory," Fauci said, "because we know from previous surges that we've had over the year that when you see that leveling off at a high level there's always the risk of a surge back up.

"And in fact, unfortunately, that's exactly what is happening in Europe right now. They always seem to be a few weeks ahead of us in the dynamics of the outbreak. Then they plateaued because they pulled back a bit. They thought that they were home free, and they weren't. And now they're seeing an increase up."

When asked by host Chris Wallace about the full reopening of businesses and the elimination of a mask mandate in Texas, Fauci said he considers that to be "risky and potentially dangerous."

"When you plateau at a high level, there's enough viral activity in the community that when you pull back on things like masking and not pay attention to avoiding congregate settings it is very risky to get another surge," Fauci warned. "If you wait just a bit longer to give the vaccine program a chance to increase the protection in the community, then it makes pulling back much less risky. But if you do it prematurely, there really is a danger of triggering another surge."