Fauci Puts Fine Point on Pandemic

US is in transition, expert clarifies
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2022 7:35 PM CDT
Pandemic Is in Transition: Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks at a congressional hearing in January.   (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

Dr. Anthony Fauci worried that his assessment of the state of the coronavirus pandemic given Tuesday was being misinterpreted as meaning it's all over, so he went at the subject again Wednesday. "We don't have 900,000 new infections a day and tens and tens and tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths," he had said Tuesday on PBS' NewsHour, per CNN. "We are at a low level right now." So the US is no longer in the pandemic stage, Fauci said. But that doesn't mean the pandemic is over, he added on Wednesday.

Instead, he said, the US is in "a different phase of the pandemic"—a transitional one. After almost 1 million deaths and two years of pandemic pain, President Biden's chief medical adviser told the Washington Post, the country is moving on. He hopes that's toward "a more controlled phase and endemicity." COVID-19 cases, though still low, are on the rise again, Fauci acknowledged. "So what we need to do is continue to be vigilant, to follow the CDC guidelines, to do the kinds of things that protect you," he said.

Other experts cautioned that, given the ability of the coronavirus to mutate to avoid immune system responses, it's hard to be sure where we're headed. "Not to be gloom and doom, but the central issue is that we do not know whether the virus will spawn new variants capable of eroding the protection from vaccines and therapeutics," a Columbia University epidemiologist wrote in an email to the Post. "Over the coming years, we will gain a better sense of that capacity." (More Anthony Fauci stories.)

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