Top epidemiologist and health advisor to the president, Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week that the United States is likely “out of the pandemic” phase of COVID-19, but that in order to keep it that way, vaccinations must continue.
In an interview with PBS NewsHour on Tuesday, Dr. Fauci told Judy Woodruff, “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. So if you’re saying, ‘Are we out of the pandemic phase in this country?’ — we are.”
This is welcome news to Americans, who have lost over 991,000 of their fellow countrymen to COVID-19 since 2020, but Dr. Fauci says the only way to ensure the progress is maintained is to make sure COVID-19 vaccinations keep up.
Dr. Fauci pointed out that particularly vulnerable populations, like the elderly and immunocompromised, should be especially vigilant about getting their vaccinations.
After his remarks on PBS, Fauci clarified to NPR, “What I’m referring to is that we are no longer in the acute fulminant accelerated phase of the outbreak,” compared to the peak of the pandemic. “We’re in a somewhat of a transitional phase where the cases’ numbers have decelerated — and hopefully we’re getting to a phase of somewhat better control, where we can begin to start to resuming more easily normal activities.”
As of this week, the CDC reported 220 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, amounting to about 66 percent of the population. Of those, 100 million have received a first booster dose.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ABC NEWS