Another dire warning came from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, on Sunday about the surge of COVID cases across the U.S., particularly in kids.

Fauci made the announcement on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” saying, “Something bad is going on. We’ve got to realize that.”

The president and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was referring to the increase in COVID cases to 100,000 a day, and the rise in COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations, despite the rollout of the vaccine to eligible U.S. residents.

Fauci expressed his concern saying it felt like déjà vu. He told, “Meet the Press,” “As we’ve said all along this is fundamentally a pandemic among the unvaccinated. That has proven true.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 166.4 million people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, accounting for 50.1% of the country’s population.

The medical adviser to President Joe Biden continued, “A virus will not mutate unless you allow it to replicate. So if you allow the virus to freely circulate and not try and stop it, sooner or later, there is a likelihood that you’ll get another variant that more problematic than the Delta.

“People who are unvaccinated should think about their own health, that of their family, but also the community responsibility to crush this virus before it gets even worse.”

But Fauci is also concerned about the increase in COVID-19 cases in children and the danger of kids getting the virus, particularly the Delta variant.

Only children 12 and older are eligible to get the COVID vaccine from Pfizer, which has been authorized for use in kids of this age. Both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are only authorized for use in people 18 and older.

“There are a lot of children now – all you need to do is do a survey of the pediatric hospitals throughout the country, and you’re seeing a considerable number of young people who are not only infected but who are seriously ill,” Fauci told “Meet the Press.”

“Again, the numbers compared to the elderly are less, but that’s a false comparison. These kids are getting sick. We’ve really got to make sure we protect them.”

It is rare for a child to die from COVID-19, including the Delta variant, as 43 states that report morbidity data for the pandemic indicated that minors comprised only zero to 0.26% of their total COVID deaths as of July 26, according to the Daily Mail. Seven states reported zero minor coronavirus-related deaths, the news outlet said.

However, Fauci believes there are things that can be done to protect kids, especially in schools.

“There’s no doubt about that in my mind. There are two things you do with children who are not vaccinated, and that’s the recommendation. You surround them with those who can be vaccinated, whoever they are, teachers, personnel in the school, anyone, get them vaccinated,” he told the outlet.

“So, protect the kids with a shield of vaccinated people. For the kids who can’t get vaccinated, that’s the reason why we’re having a strong recommendation that, in the schools, everybody should wear a mask, whether or not you’re vaccinated,” Fauci added, “We’ve got to protect the children.”

Fauci has said that he is hopeful that the Pfizer vaccine will receive full approval from the Food and Drug Administration within the next few weeks. Currently, the COVID vaccine only has emergency use authorization for vaccination from the agency.

Top US pandemic advisor Anthony Fauci expects a decision on the J&J vaccine by American regulators by Friday
Top U.S. pandemic advisor Anthony Fauci. POOL / Amr Alfiky