NIH Director says unvaccinated people are ‘sitting ducks’ as the Delta variant continues spread across the US

francis collins NIH director
Dr Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss vaccines and protecting public health during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Washington, U.S., September 9, 2020.
  • NIH Director Francis Collins says the unvaxxed are "sitting ducks" amid the spread of the Delta variant.
  • In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Dr. Collins said he would be surprised if new daily cases didn't soar to 200,000 in a few weeks.
  • "We're in a world of hurt," Collins said.
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National Institutes of Health Director, Dr. Francis Collins, says unvaccinated people are "sitting ducks" as the highly transmissible Delta variant continues to spread in areas across the US.

"Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace asked Collins about how many new COVID-19 cases we can expect to see on a daily basis as the surge continues.

"I will be surprised if we don't cross 200,000 cases a day in the next couple of weeks," Collins said. "That's heartbreaking considering we never thought we would never be back in that space again. But here we are with Delta variant, which is so contagious, and this heartbreaking situation where 90 million people are still unvaccinated who are sitting ducks for this virus."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national seven-day average of reported cases increased to 114,190 last week.

"We're in a world of hurt and it's a critical juncture to try to do everything we can to turn that around," Collins said.

The Delta variant has particularly impacted the unvaccinated, who make up a majority of hospitalizations throughout the country. In recent weeks, there has also been an uptick in hospitalizations for children who are contracting the virus and admitted to ICUs.

"With Delta being so contagious kids are definitely at risk and it's up to all of us to do everything we can to protect them," Collins said.

According to John Hopkins University, about 51% of people in the US are fully vaccinated, as of this weekend.

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