“We’re in a different moment in the pandemic,” Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, said in an interview with The Associated Press.
After the harsh winter spell, he said, “we’ve now slowed down and moved to a more controlled phase.” “In no way does this mean that the epidemic is over.”
His comments came a day after he said on PBS’s “Newshoor” that the United States “is out of the pandemic phase,” and told the Washington Post that the country was “finally out of the explosive phase of the pandemic.”
Fauci’s notes reflect how health authorities are grappling with the next phase of the pandemic — how to keep COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations under control and learn to live with what remains a mutating and unpredictable virus.
Fauci said the United States appears to have emerged from what he called the “blitzkrieg” of the pandemic, massive mutating spurts that, at their worst, have led to hundreds of thousands of infections daily, along with tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths.
COVID-19 cases are lower than they have been in months and two-thirds of the US population is vaccinated. About half of those who needed a booster dose got an extra dose, and effective treatments are available.
“We are much better than we were a year ago,” he said.
However, there have been lulls before, and while cases have been low, they are increasing in many parts of the country. Worldwide vaccination rates are much lower, particularly in developing countries.
To keep getting better, Fauci ticked off his to-do list: getting more people fully vaccinated; developing better vaccines; Discover the best booster strategy for coping with variables; And make sure people can access treatment as soon as they need it.
“We can’t take our foot off the pedal,” Fauci said. “There are a lot of viral dynamics around the world and we still might get another variant that could lead to another potential increase.”
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