There’s been no official change in designation by the World Health Organization, but Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, says the U.S. is now “out of the pandemic phase.”
Speaking on PBS News Hour, Fauci said that widespread, rapid infections seem to be slowing down, which warrants the shift in definition.
“We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase,” he said. “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.”
Globally, though, he added, the pandemic is still very much ongoing.
As of Tuesday, April 26, the U.S. was averaging more than 50,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day, far below the nearly 1 million at the peak. Masking requirements have been lifted and hospitalizations are down significantly.
Fauci noted that COVID will not be eradicated, but the use of vaccines can subdue the spread of the virus. To date, he says, 66% of the total population of the U.S. has been vaccinated, with about half of that group being boosted.
“If you add up the people who’ve been infected, plus the people who’ve been vaccinated and hopefully boosted, you have a rather substantial proportion of the United States population that has some degree of immunity that’s residual, either residual from prior infection, or hopefully people who are getting vaccinated and boosted,” he said.
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