01:14 GMT20 January 2021
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    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious diseases expert in the US, announced earlier that herd immunity to COVID-19 may require up to 90 percent of the US population becoming resistant to the disease. This index has been slowly rising throughout the year, as scientists study SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

    Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci after the latter modified his assessment on obtaining herd immunity in the US population. Fauci has now placed the required amount of the population being immune to COVID-19 at between 70 and 90 percent.

    Rubio on Sunday tweeted that the infectious diseases expert “distorted the level of vaccination” needed for herd protection against the novel coronavirus as a means to “trick” Americans into “doing the right thing”.

    Earlier in December, Fauci told The New York Times that “the real number” of vaccinated people or people resistant to COVID-19 required for herd immunity, is yet unknown, while the actual “range is somewhere between 70 to 90 percent”.

    According to Fauci, he shifted the index partly because people have expressed more trust in the vaccine, indicating that they have become ready to hear the “tough message” that the way to a 'return to normal life' might prove longer than previously anticipated.

    Stopping the quick spread of the coronavirus across the country requires a large part of the population to be immune to the disease. The necessary amount of immune people depends on how contagious the infection is. Shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak, scientists suggested that at least 60% of the population would need to be immune to the new type of coronavirus to develop herd protection.

    To date, the US has the world's highest coronavirus rate, according to Johns Hopkins University data tracking. Over 152,000 have tested positively in the last 24 hours alone, along with at least 1,230 deaths recorded. The total amount of those infected throughout the country passed the 19 million mark and at least 334,514 coronavirus-related deaths have currently been registered since the pandemic began.


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    Anthony Fauci, Marco Rubio, US Senator, vaccination, immunity, COVID-19
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