Anthony Fauci expressed optimism about the state of the pandemic in the U.S. on Tuesday.
Fauci, the White House's chief medical adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told PBS NewsHour that we are in this country out of the pandemic phase.
He told The Washington Post that the U.S. had entered the control stage of the epidemic because of the coronaviruses, which cause far less hospitalizations and deaths than during the winter omicron surge.
Fauci has previously described five phases of the epidemic. The first, a full-blown pandemic, is where the U.S. spent most of the last two years. The second is deceleration and the third is control, which indicates that the virus is endemic in the population.
Fauci told PBS that the virus will probably never be eradicated after this, even though it should come with elimination and eradication.
Fauci, who is President Joe Biden's top covid adviser, told The Post that entering a new phase doesn't mean the entire epidemic is over.
The world is still in a pandemic. He said that we are still experiencing a pandemic.
Fauci, 81, decided to not attend the White House Correspondents Dinner this weekend because of concerns about his own Covid risk.
According to NBC News' tally, the U.S. is recording around 51,000 Covid cases and just over 400 deaths per day. The case average has gone up 49 percent in the last two weeks, even as infections go undercounted due to the common use of at-home tests.
Fauci said that many people in the U.S. have some form of immunity that should protect them from severe disease.
If you add up the people who have been infected and the people who have been vaccinated and hopefully boosted, you have a fairly substantial proportion of the United States population that has some degree of immunity that's residual, he told PBS NewsHour.
According to a Monday report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 58 percent of the US had evidence of a prior coronavirus infection as of February, based on tens of thousands of blood samples. Sixty-six percent of the country is fully vaccinated and 46 percent of the population has been boosted, according to the CDC.
There are around 674,000 average Covid cases per day, though worldwide cases have declined 35 percent in the last two weeks, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The World Health Organization had its lowest weekly death total since March 2020, at just over 15,000.
WHO officials said in a Monday briefing that many more deaths of Covid could still be prevented. According to Our World in Data, around 40 percent of the world's population is not fully vaccinated.
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on Covid said that we are in a different phase of the epidemic, but we are still very much in the middle of this epidemic.
The WHO leaders said that there is a risk of new, dangerous variants. They added that insufficient testing and surveillance could make it hard to spot new variants.
As many countries reduce testing, WHO is receiving less information about transmission and sequencing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. This makes us more blind to the patterns of transmission and evolution, but this virus won't go away because countries stopped looking for it. It is still spreading, it is changing, and it is still killing.