NIH Director: Vaccine Mandate Could Save Lives

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins on Sunday said he believes vaccine mandates could make a difference in slowing the rapid spread of COVID-19 and saving lives.

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos Collins was asked if a nationwide vaccine mandate is called for. “Yeah, I think we ought to use every public health tool that we can when people are dying.”

He also lamented how fierce politicization had become over issues like vaccines and face masks. “I understand how that can sometimes set off all kinds of resistance… how did we get here? Why is it that a mandate about vaccine or wearing a mask suddenly becomes a statement about your political party?” Collins wondered aloud. “We don’t really need to be polarized about a virus that’s killing people, we want to be doing everything we can to save lives.”

With the school year starting soon or just under way in many parts of the country, Stephanopoulos asked Collins if he had any advice for parents. “Think about masks in the way that they ought to thought about,” he said, holding up a mask. “This is not a political statement or an invasion of your liberties. This is a life-saving medical device.”


Saturday marked the fourth consecutive day of more than 100,000 new daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And Friday, the U.S. recorded its highest daily COVID-19 case count in six months, with more than 120,000 new cases reported.

The delta variant has fueled the latest uptick in cases, now accounting for at least 93% of cases in the nation. Due to the rapidly spreading variant, states and counties have reimplemented mitigation strategies like mask mandates.

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