Fauci clarifies: US transitioning out of pandemic phase

The nation's top infectious disease expert on April 27 said the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, clarifying comments from a day earlier in which he said the nation was "out of the pandemic phase." 

In an April 26 "PBS NewsHour" interview, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, "We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase," pointing to low levels of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths. 

He offered clarification in media interviews a day later. "I probably should have said 'the acute component of the pandemic phase.' And I understand how that can lead to some misinterpretation," Dr. Fauci told NPR's "1A" podcast. 

"We're really in a transitional phase, from a deceleration of the numbers into hopefully a more controlled phase and endemicity," he told The Washington Post.

While the nation's "full-blown pandemic dynamic" was characterized by "900,000 cases a day, tens of thousands of hospitalizations, 3,000 deaths a day," Dr. Fauci told the Post the nation is moving into the "control" phase, where the virus will continue to circulate without causing significant waves of severe illness and death. Still, the nation is not quite there yet, he said. 

"We can't take our foot off the pedal," Dr. Fauci told The Associated Press.. "There's a lot of viral dynamics throughout the world, and we still may get another variant which could lead to another potential surge." 

 

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