Fauci Backtracks, Says COVID Pandemic Isn’t Over Yet

National Institute of Heath director clarifies earlier comments that led listeners to believe the coronavirus pandemic had passed.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Chief White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said that “the pandemic is not over” yet, during a recent interview on a podcast by National Public Radio.
  • According to Fox News, Fauci was clarifying previous comments about the U.S. coronavirus response where he said that the nation was “out of the pandemic phase.” 
  • Fauci was quick to say that his remarks about being out of the pandemic phase were meant to apply to the “acute component” of the pandemic but that the nation was still subject to a pandemic.
FAUCI’S COMMENTS:
  • “We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase,” Fauci said during an interview with PBS NewsHour on Tuesday.
  • “I want to clarify one thing,” Fauci said the next day. “I probably should have said the acute component of the pandemic phase. And I understand how that can lead to some misinterpretation. I was talking about the acute fomenting phase, and everyone agrees we’re not there. We’re not getting 900,000 new infections a day.”
  • “Is the pandemic still here? Absolutely,” Fauci said. “So when I said phase, I probably should have said the acute stage of the pandemic phase. We’re now transitioning, not there yet, but transitioning to more of an endemicity where the level of infections is low enough that people are starting to learn to live with the virus still protecting themselves by vaccination, by the availability of antivirals, by testing. So I really meant the acute phase as opposed to pandemic.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Fauci’s comments came Wednesday, during an appearance on NPR’s “1A” podcast where he was invited to discuss the controversial striking down of the federal public transport mask mandate. 
  • Fauci has continued to be a polarizing figure who is largely distrusted by conservatives who believe he could be overestimating the pandemic to help the government control the American people, especially in light of how many times the doctor’s stance has flip-flopped (here) on coronavirus measures.