Fauci Is Optimistic About Way Out of the Pandemic

He says US is exiting 'full-blown' phase
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2022 3:32 PM CST
Fauci: We're On the Way Out of 'Full-Blown' Phase of Pandemic
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, makes a phone call during a Senate committee hearing last month.   (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

(Newser) – Almost exactly two years after he warned that the coronavirus "almost certainly is going to be a pandemic," Dr. Anthony Fauci says the US is on the way out of the "full-blown pandemic phase" of the crisis. The top White House medical adviser tells the Financial Times he hopes all COVID restrictions will be lifted in the coming months, and he believes "these decisions will increasingly be made on a local level rather than centrally decided or mandated"—and there "will also be more people making their own decisions on how they want to deal with the virus."

Fauci tells the FT that while there "is no way we're going to eradicate this virus," he hopes the combination of vaccination, COVID treatments, and prior infections will finally get COVID under control. He says that while "it depends who you are," most Americans probably won't need booster shots very often. "If you are a normal, healthy 30-year-old person with no underlying conditions, you might need a booster only every four or five years," he says.

Fauci's optimistic remarks come as COVID cases and hospitalizations are rapidly declining in almost every state, though the seven-day average of deaths has reached 2,600, the highest in a year, the Washington Post reports. As the highly infectious omicron variant recedes, numerous states that had strict protocols in place have moved to lift mask mandates and other measures, including California, New Jersey, and Oregon, the New York Times reports. They were joined Wednesday by Illinois, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York, where Gov. Kathy Hochul lifted the mandate for businesses but kept it in place for schools. (Read more COVID-19 stories.)

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