April 20, 2021: -Dr. Carlos Del Rio said that U.S. Covid cases could decrease in May if the U.S. continues to vaccinate aggressively and convinces reluctant communities to get vaccinated. “I worry that we’re rapidly transitioning our country from a supply issue, a scarcity issue with vaccines, to a demand issue,” said Del Rio. “I will tell you the most reluctant communities are primarily white evangelicals, and we need to get out to those communities to vaccinate them,” he added.
According to the Pew Research Center, there are nearly 41 million white evangelical adults in the U.S., and about 45% said in February that they would not get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Del Rio, a professor of medicine specializing in infectious diseases at Emory University School of Medicine, told CNBC that the U.S. might follow Israel’s lead and lift outdoor masking requirements if community transmission drops.
“When we can get community transmission down to below ten cases per 100,000 population, I think wearing masks outdoors is not going to be necessary,” said Del Rio.
Host Shepard Smith also asked Del Rio about Texas and those who point to the state as an example of successfully lifting mask mandates. According to Johns Hopkins University, the average daily Covid cases are down 41% in Texas since Gov. Greg Abbott raised the mask mandate 40 days ago.
Del Rio noted that there are still many unknowns about Covid and that states should still proceed with caution when lifting Covid restrictions.
“I think sometimes we wonder whether a place like Texas is good or lucky, and I think it’s more lucky than good, quite frankly,” said Del Rio. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has warned that Americans should still guard up when it comes to Covid.