Dr. Anthony Fauci says US out of ‘pandemic phase’ of COVID

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Dr. Anthony Fauci says US out of ‘pandemic phase' of COVID

Dr. Anthony Fauci says the US is no longer in the “pandemic phase” of COVID-19 — more than two years after the coronavirus first began wreaking havoc on the nation. 

PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff pressed the White House chief medical adviser Tuesday on the state of the virus in the US, particularly as many Americans prepare to receive their second booster shots and mask requirements are lifted across the country. 

“Here we are. It’s the end of April. It’s the spring of 2022. How close are we to the end of the pandemic?” Woodruff asked

“We are certainly, right now, in this country out of the pandemic phase,” Fauci replied. “Namely, we don’t have 900,000 new infections a day and tens and tens and tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. We are at a low level right now.”

“So, if you’re saying, are we out of the pandemic phase in this country, we are,” he added.

But the health adviser warned: “We’re not going to eradicate this virus.”

Fauci noted that efforts, such as intermittently vaccinating people, may have to continue every year to keep infection levels low. 

While the US is no longer in the “pandemic phase,” Fauci said there is still a global crisis. 

“Pandemic means a widespread, throughout the world, infection that spreads rapidly among people,” he said. “So, if you look at the global situation, there’s no doubt this pandemic is still ongoing.” 

Earlier this month, Fauci indicated his support for individual Americans making their own medical risk assessments when it comes to COVID-19. 

“This is not going to be eradicated, and it’s not going to be eliminated,” he told ABC’s “This Week.” “And what’s going to happen is that we’re going to see that each individual is going to have to make their calculation of the amount of risk that they want to take.”

Fauci’s hopeful rhetoric is in stark contrast to the dire warnings he issued at the start of the pandemic, urging Americans to follow social distancing and masking guidelines. 

However, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert still recently slammed a Florida federal judge’s decision to strike down the Biden administration’s extension of a policy that required masks on public transportation.

“The CDC has the capability, through a large number of trained epidemiologists, scientists, to be able to make projections and make recommendations,” he said to CBS News. “Far more than a judge with no experience in public health.” 

Fauci’s comments come as the US experiences a small uptick in positive COVID-19 infections driven by the BA.2 subvariant of the virus. In DC, dozens of lawmakers, journalists, administration officials tested positive this month after attending various dinners and events. 

Earlier this month though, Fauci said the variant did not “appear to be associated with an increase in hospitalizations and severe disease.”

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