Dr. Anthony Fauci warned the public on Tuesday, Sept. 14, that a worse variant can mutate from our current strain of COVID-19 viruses if a significant amount of the population remains unvaccinated. 

Fauci, who was on the talk show "Morning Joe" hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, was asked about the possibility of a “monster variant” if the current COVID-19 infection rates hold, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“There’s always a risk of, as you get more circulation of the virus in the community, that you’ll get enough accumulation of new mutations to get a variant substantially different than the ones we’re seeing now,” Fauci said. 

Fauci is encouraging people to get vaccinated to prevent the possibility of the virus mutating into a deadlier or more infectious variant that might wreak worse havoc into the country if allowed, according to the New York Daily News

“You’re vaccinating now to prevent the next mutant coming, the next variant from coming,” he said.

He warns that any gains made from the vaccine that has been created will be erased if a variant springs up that is resistant to the protections that the shot currently offers.

“Viruses will not mutate if they don’t have the opportunity to spread and replicate,” Fauci said. “So the more dynamics of viral activity you have in the community, the greater opportunity you give to the virus to mutate.”

COVID-19 infections and deaths have been climbing throughout the weeks, largely spurred by low vaccination rates and the reopening of schools across the country. Experts are warning that infections may get worse if vaccination rates stay low as people stay indoors more, WKBN reported. 

“[There’s] still a lot of unvaccinated people out there. Delta is going to find them,” Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, said.

mohammad-shahhosseini-Wkn3LVVxzrg-unsplash As vaccination rates remain low across the country, Dr. Anthony Fauci warns that worse COVID-19 variants may spring up if the virus is allowed to mutate. This is a representational image. Mohammad Shahhosseini/Unsplash.