Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that the United States is “out of the pandemic phase” of COVID-19, as the country continues to report low levels of deaths, hospitalizations and cases, although globally, “There is no doubt that this pandemic is still going on.”
“We’re at a low level right now,” the nation’s top infectious disease expert told “PBS NewsHour” of the state as COVID-19 cases continue to plateau for a week, with fewer than 60,000 new cases a day. Cases come to the fore. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This is down from the US which reported more than 1 million new infections in a single day in January.
“We don’t have 900,000 new infections a day and tens and tens and tens of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. We’re at a low level right now, so if you’re saying we’re out of the pandemic in this country, we are,” Fauci said.
He cautioned that “we are not going to eliminate this virus,” meaning that intermittent vaccinations, annually or longer, will be necessary to ensure that cases do not rise again.
Cases have generally declined in the US and where vaccination has been made widely available — globally, cases continue to be of epidemic proportions, he said.
Fauci said, “Pandemic means a widespread, rapidly spreading infection among people around the world, so if you look at the global situation, there is no doubt that this epidemic is still going on.”
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, around 26 million cases have been reported globally in the last 28 days. Italy, Australia, Japan and Vietnam have reported the most cases during the nearly four-week period, with the United Kingdom trailing the US.
Medical experts, including Fauci, have noted that the number of cases in the US is much lower than they actually are. Reasons for this include home testing and some of the infected people not getting medical help because they have few symptoms, if any, of the virus.
More than half of new COVID-19 cases in the US today are from the Omicron virus type known as BA.2. Evidence suggests that although this variant is more permeable than the original coronavirus variant, it may cause less severe disease than the delta variant.