The Biden administration’s top medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has declared the United States is now “out of the pandemic phase” of COVID-19.
In an interview with PBS’s NewsHour on Tuesday, he said: “We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase.”
“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,” announced Fauci.
Fauci: COVID-19 cannot be stamped out completely
But he insisted COVID-19 could not be stamped out completely and that long-term vaccination programs may need to continue.
“We’re not going to eradicate this virus. We can keep that level very low, and intermittently vaccinate people… That might be every year, that might be longer, in order to keep that level low,” he continued.
“But, right now, we are not in the pandemic phase in this country,” he said reassuringly.
Mask mandates have been lifted in most areas of the US
Dr. Fauci then explained that “pandemic” means a “widespread, throughout the world, infection that spreads rapidly among people.”
The chief medical advisor’s comments on Tuesday come as mask mandates have been lifted in most areas of the country as the country averages 54,840 infections every day—just 6 percent of the virus’s peak of 800,000 cases per day in mid-January.
COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted throughout much—though not all—of the United States. One of the few existing mandates left is in New York City, where residents are still required to wear masks on the subway, on public buses, and at the airport.
Masks are also required on public transit in Los Angeles. Philadelphia also brought back its mask order for four days last week before almost immediately lifting them again.
WHO warns pandemic is far from over
Last month, the World Health Organization warned that the pandemic is “far from over.”
Even though case numbers had been declining across the world, March saw a surprising uptick in transmissions internationally. “We are definitely in the middle of the pandemic,” WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris had stated.
China is currently trying to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Beijing has swiftly expanded its COVID-19 mass testing from one district this week to most of the city of nearly 22 million, adding to expectations of an imminent lockdown similar to that of Shanghai.
The Chinese capital began testing the residents of its most populous district, Chaoyang, on Monday. By the end of the day, even though only a fraction of the results had been released, the city decided to conduct tests on ten other districts and one economic development zone by Saturday.