Several days after President Joe Biden declared “the pandemic is over,” Anthony Fauci threw his weight on the president’s controversial remarks during an interview at The Atlantic Festival, an annual live event in Washington, DC.
“He was saying we’re in a much better position with regard to the lightning phase of the epidemic,” Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, said. “It really becomes semantics and how you want to rotate them.”
By “the blitzkrieg,” he meant the phase of the coronavirus pandemic during which we experienced sudden and unexpected spikes in disease and death. Thanks in large part to vaccines and antiviral drugs, Fauci explained, we are now in a new phase, where death numbers remain fairly constant, even as case numbers and patient numbers fluctuate. The United States no longer sees thousands of deaths per day, and for many Americans, the risk of serious illness has dropped dramatically.
However, the notion that declaring the pandemic is over is really a matter of semantics is a charged message coming from the country’s top public health communications official. While rolling out the country’s first Omicron boosters, some experts and insiders worry the announcement may have real consequences: Six administration officials Tell Washington Post The president’s comments will likely make the tasks of persuading Americans to obtain opportunities and secure funding from Congress more difficult than they already are.
Fauci is not the only administration official who has retracted the president’s remarks, which came just a few days after Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, He said, “We’re not there yet, but the end is in sight.” according to Politico, Biden’s remarks surprised the administration’s top health officials, and indeed, in the following days, the White House made clear that the president was referring to public sentiment, not epidemiological reality. “The President” Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra Tell Yahoo Finance, “It was reflective of what many Americans think and feel.” (In today’s interview, Fauci built on Ghebreyesus’ sentiments with a trademark Fauci-ism: He said easing our anti-pandemic efforts now, it would be like saying, “Just because I see what the finish line is, I’m going to stop and get sausages. No, you don’t want to do that. “)
Fauci himself is no stranger to the subtle art of discussing the end of the pandemic. in late April an interview with PBS NewsHourThe US, he said, was “out of a pandemic phase”, only to reverse course the next day and say the country (along with the entire world) “is still suffering from a pandemic.” Last month, when he announced he would be stepping down from his government position by the end of the year, Fauci said he was not satisfied with the situation. “I am not happy with the fact that we still have 400 deaths a day,” he said He said. “We need to do a lot better than that…but I hope things will improve over the next couple of months.”
So far, they haven’t. Statistically speaking, not much has changed since last month — or, for that matter, since late April: The average daily caseload, which Fauci acknowledged as an underestimate, rose slightly from about 50,000 to Just under 60,000. The number of people admitted to hospital and intensive care units peaked in late July and has declined slowly since then. Death numbers have remained fairly constant, Fauci said, at about 400 a day. And designers think they might stay there For a while now. “I’ll say it until today,” Fauci repeated. “Four hundred deaths a day is not an acceptable number for me.”
Meanwhile, America has dumped nearly all of its pandemic precautions, and Congress she has Refusal to renew the financing Vaccines and medication. Whether the pandemic is behind us or not, many people live as if it is. that Axios/ Ipsos vote The one released last week found that nearly half of Americans have returned to their pre-COVID lives, and only 66 percent have occasionally or never worn masks in indoor public spaces — the highest percentage that has given that answer since pollsters first asked the question in May. 2021.
In his wide-ranging interview at The Atlantic Festival, Fauci touched on a number of other topics, including decades of work around the HIV/AIDS crisis, the politicization of public health, and how during the pandemic it has become something greater—than personal—for all who worship and despise it. . He laughed at Dr. Fauci’s themed candles, bobbleheads, and other gadgets being sent to him. “It’s in many respects as unrealistic as the madness of people wanting to cut off my head because I’m ruining the economy,” he said.
Fauci also addressed the origins of the coronavirus, reiterating his often-cited position that while he keeps his mind open to theories that the virus Leaked from the lab in Wuhan, China, Evidence Refers to the natural spread of animals in a market in the city. He said it’s unlikely we’ll get conclusive evidence either way, but the only thing that would help is more transparency from the Chinese government, starting with answers to the question about what exactly happened in the Wuhan wet market where the first COVID cases were traced .
“The thing that I think would be the best thing to do is open up those markets,” Fauci said. “If we could go in and do the monitoring easily in China, we’d have a lot more information than we have right now.”