Biden on Thursday announced that all companies employing more than 100 people must insist on either proof of vaccination or regular COVID tests.
His policy was greeted with anger by many Republicans, who described it as heavy-handed and an infringement on their personal freedoms.
But Fauci, Biden’s chief medical advisor, said on Friday that he would have backed more intense options.
‘The president is being somewhat moderate in his demand, if you want to call it that,’ Fauci told CNN.
Dr. Fauci on President Biden's announced rule requiring vaccines or weekly testing: "I think the president is being somewhat moderate in his demand, if you want to call it that." https://t.co/xd9O787DRY pic.twitter.com/9byYVPSfuT
— The Hill (@thehill) September 11, 2021
‘There are some people who really don’t want to get vaccinated but they don’t want to lose their job.
‘You’ve got to give them an off lane. And the off-lane is that if you get tested frequently enough and find out you’re positive you won’t come to work and you won’t infect other people.
‘It really is somewhat of a compromise there.
‘Myself, I would make it just vaccinate or not – but he is trying to be moderate in what he was pronouncing.’
Biden’s sweeping new vaccine requirements have Republican governors threatening lawsuits, but he has argued that it is essential to bring down stubbornly-high infection rates and get the country back on track.
Only 54 per cent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, according to data analyzed by John Hopkins University, and in states such as Wyoming, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana the rate is barely 40 per cent.
A wave of infections driven by the Delta variant has filled hospitals with over 100,000 COVID patients and is producing 1,500 deaths per day – the highest since the winter, according to The New York Times.