Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said it was “horrifying” and “frightening” to see an audience cheering at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) about people not getting vaccinated.

During a Sunday episode of CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper, Fauci said he doesn’t have an explanation for why people are not getting vaccinated. 

Tapper played a clip from last weekend’s CPAC conference during which author Alex Berenson said, “They were hoping, the government was hoping that they could sort of sucker 90 percent of the population into getting vaccinated. And it — and it isn’t happening, right?”

Applause could be heard as Berenson continued, “Younger people …” after which Tapper cut off the video. 

Tapper said, “I’m going to cut him off right there because he just goes on to just say things that are not true about the vaccine.”

“But what I wanted to get your reaction to is the crowd cheering when this gentleman talks about how the government was not able to achieve a 90% vaccine goal. The crowd cheered,” Tapper said. “As a public health official, what’s your reaction when you hear that?”

“It’s horrifying,” Fauci answered. “I mean, they are cheering about someone saying that it’s a good thing for people not to try and save their lives. I mean, if you just unpack that for a second, Jake, it’s almost frightening to say, hey, guess what, we don’t want you to do something to save your life. Yay. Everybody starts screaming and clapping.”

He went on, “I just don’t get that. I mean, I — and I don’t think that anybody who is thinking clearly can get that. What is that all about? I don’t understand that, Jake.”

Tapper went on to discuss vaccine mandates, noting, “I know you have been very clear that the government isn’t mandating vaccines, but do you think it’s generally a good idea for businesses or schools to require vaccinations?”

Fauci responded, “I have been of this opinion, and I remain of that opinion, that I do believe, at the local level, Jake, there should be more mandates. There really should be. We’re talking about life-and-death situation. We have lost 600,000 Americans already, and we’re still losing more people.” 

“There have been four million deaths worldwide. This is serious business. So, I am in favor of that,” he added. 

On CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Fauci made similar comments, saying, “… it is almost inexplicable why people, when they see the data in front of them that they don’t get vaccinated.”

“When you hear people at rallies talking, don’t get vaccinated, don’t get vaccinated. John, it doesn’t make any sense because we’re talking about a public health issue that is life saving for you, your family, as well as your community,” Fauci added. “So you’re right, we are in a very difficult position. We have more vaccines in this country than we know what to do with everybody and anybody can get vaccinated.”

In May, Biden announced that he was setting a goal “for 70% of the U.S. adult population to have one vaccine shot and 160 million U.S. adults to be fully vaccinated by July 4,” per a White House fact sheet.

The U.S. still hasn’t met that goal with CDC data showing that 67.7% of adults have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine and over 152 million Americans are fully vaccinated.

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