Despite the fact that coronavirus infections and hospitalizations are on the rise in the United States, renowned infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci said on Wednesday that the country is no longer in “full-blown explosive pandemic mode.”
“We’re at a transitional phase,” Fauci told The Washington Post, “from a slowing of the numbers to hopefully a more controlled phase and endemicity.”
He also said on Tuesday on PBS NewsHour that “we are definitely, right now, in this country, out of the pandemic phase.”
“To put it another way, we don’t have 900,000 new infections every day, tens of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of fatalities.” Right now, we’re at a low point. So, if you’re asking if we’re out of the epidemic phase in this country, the answer is yes. He stated, “We are.”
Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are continuously rising in the United States, despite being a fraction of what they were during the omicron peak.
Every day, more than 47,000 new coronavirus cases are reported in the United States. This compares to over 26,000 each day in late March.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19-related hospitalizations increased for the second week in a row.
Deaths, on the other hand, are declining. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 330 individuals die each day from the coronavirus. While analysts say the figure is still too high to swallow, it is much lower than the January 2021 average daily death peak of almost 3,400.
On a call with reporters Tuesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said, “Overall, we continue to have some mixed trends.”
Fauci decided not to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this weekend because of the current coronavirus threat. According to The New York Times, he stated he opted not to attend “because of my personal evaluation of danger.”
Despite news this week that Vice President Kamala Harris has the coronavirus, President Joe Biden plans to attend the ceremony.
The dinner is an “event he’s attended many times in the past, and he made a determination through discussions that it was an event he could go and wanted to attend again,” said to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who was defending the president’s COVID-19 guidelines on Tuesday.
The decision comes as a new subvariant of omicron begins to gain traction in the United States. While BA.2 has been in the spotlight for weeks, researchers are now focusing their attention on BA.2.12.1, which was responsible for over 30% of new coronavirus cases last week.
According to Walensky, the subvariant was discovered in New York and could be up to 25% more transmissible than BA.2.
“An additional evaluation is currently underway to understand the impact of BA.2.12.1 on vaccine effectiveness,” Walensky said on Tuesday. “However, we continue to believe that those who are vaccinated, particularly those who are boosted, have strong protection against severe disease, even from BA.2.12.1.”