Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, made a point of clarifying the present state of the pandemic on Monday.
During a fireside chat with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Fauci indicated that COVID-19 is not likely to be eradicated.
“We are not where we need to be if we are going to be able to quote ‘live with the virus’ because we know we are not going to eradicate it,” Fauci said.
“The next question we ask: ‘Are we going to be able to eliminate it from our country or from most of the world?’ and the answer is unlikely, because it is highly transmissible and the immunity that’s induced by vaccine or infection is also transient.”
When Biden was asked if the pandemic is over, he said, “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID, we’re still doing a lot of work on it; but the pandemic is over.”
Interestingly, Fauci had made a similar comment during a PBS News Hour interview back in April.
During the interview, Judy Wooduff asked how close the population is to the end of this pandemic.
Fauci started that is an “unanswerable question” and proceed to elaborate.
“We are certainly, right now in this country, out of the pandemic phase,” Fauci said.
Fauci added, “Namely, we don’t have 900 thousand 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.”
Fauci claimed that the virus continues to be an issue because of, in part, “the lack of the uniform acceptance of the interventions that are available to us in this country,” according to the CSIS interview.
“Even now, more than two years, close to three years into the outbreak, we have only 67 percent of our population vaccinated and only one-half of those have received a single boost,” Fauci said.
He willingly admitted that a decrease in numbers is an indicator that things are heading in the right direction, but that he believes it’s likely that we will see another variant emerge around late fall and into early winter.
Fauci announced in August that he would be stepping down in December as Biden’s medical adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, according to The New York Times.
He added that he is “not retiring in the classic sense,” as he plans on trying to “inspire the younger generation” to enter government service.
Fauci has been the director of the NIAID for the last 38 years.
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