Declaration made as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, hospitalizations, deaths fall
Dr. Anthony Fauci declared on Tuesday that the U.S. is officially out of the pandemic phase of the COVID-19 global health crisis.
While cases of COVID-19 are going up in the country, hospitalizations are remaining low and deaths are continuing to drop, which the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director cited as his reasoning the U.S. has made it through the worst of the COVID crisis.
Fauci made the declaration during an interview on PBS NewsHour on Tuesday, after being asked by the shows anchor Judy Woodruff about how close the country was to being out of the pandemic.
“We are certainly — right now in this country — out of the pandemic phase,” Fauci said.
Fauci noted however that, while the U.S. is out of the pandemic, in the rest of the world “there’s no doubt this pandemic is still ongoing.”
Despite Fauci’s declaration, cases of COVID-19 continue to go up in the country, with new infections up more than 22% within the past week, according to data from the CDC.
The new cases are primarily due to the omicron variant of COVID, a hyper-infectious strain which has been the main source of infection for some time now.
Fauci told PBS NewsHour that Americans will likely have to routinely get vaccinated against COVID-19 going forward, in order to keep instances of severe illness and death low.
“I don’t know how often that would have to be,” Fauci said, of how often someone may need to get vaccinated. “That might be every year, that might be longer, in order to keep that level low.”
The European Commission also released a statement today declaring that the EU is “transitioning out of the acute COVID-19 phase.”
The EU said being able to transition out of the worst of the crisis will allow them to focus more effort on simply keeping COVID at bay for now and going forward.
“The current lower levels of COVID-19 infection offer the Member States the opportunity to strengthen their surveillance, healthcare systems, and overall pandemic preparedness,” the EU said.