Fauci flips: He now says pandemic is NOT over
After telling PBS the nation is ‘certainly right now … out of the pandemic phase’
Channeling Yogi Berra, Dr. Anthony Fauci has walked back his statement to PBS that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, essentially declaring on Wednesday that it ain’t over until it’s over.
On Tuesday, Fauci told PBS “NewsHour” host Judy Woodruff that amid plummeting cases and hospitalizations, the nation is “out of the pandemic phase.”
However, on Wednesday, Fauci – President Biden’s chief medical adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – told CBS News his remarks to PBS were misconstrued.
“We certainly cannot say the pandemic is over,” Fauci said. “It is not over.”
Fauci also told CBS he will not attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday after making a personal assessment about the risk of COVID-19.
Fauci’s remarks to PBS on Tuesday caused confusion, saying the “pandemic phase” is over in the United States while it “is still ongoing globally.”
“We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase,” he told Woodruff. “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,” he continued. “What we hope to do, I don’t believe — and I have spoken about this widely — we’re not going to eradicate this virus.”
Fauci told PBS on Tuesday that if the number of cases can be kept “very low,” we can “intermittently vaccinate people — and I don’t know how often that would have to be.”
“That might be every year, that might be longer, in order to keep that level low,” he said.
“But, right now, we are not in the pandemic phase in this country.”
However, Fauci added: “Pandemic means a widespread, throughout the world, infection that spreads rapidly among people. So, if you look at the global situation, there’s no doubt this pandemic is still ongoing.”
Meanwhile, COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted across the nation, with few exceptions. In New York City and Los Angeles, masks are still required on public transit. And New York City requires masking at the airport.
The Big Apple also has maintained mask-wearing for children in the public school system under 5 years of age, even though indoor mask-wearing has been lifted citywide and there’s abundant scientific evidence that children have a minuscule risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.
Officials argue that the FDA has not authorized vaccination for children under 5. But, amid the mildly symptomatic omicron wave, the COVID-19 vaccines – along with increasing evidence of severe side effects – have been ineffective in stopping infection and transmission while scientific studies indicate repeated vaccination weakens the immune system, increasing the possibility of serious illness.
On Tuesday, the CDC said 57% of Americans and 75% of children already had had COVID-19 by late February, based on a re-examination of blood drawn for medical tests since early September.
Kevin Roche, a health industry consultant, who writes on his Healthy Skeptic blog, commented that the “high level of prevalence, especially among younger age groups, highlights the absolute futility of trying to suppress a contagious respiratory virus.”
“Prominent scientists warned us of this,” he said. “When you think about what the efforts to suppress the virus cost us in so many ways, only to end up with most of the population infected anyway, it should really cause everyone to demand a complete overhaul of public health authorities.”
By Art Moore