Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, advised Americans to weigh their individual COVID-19 risks as cases rise again.
“This is not going to be eradicated and it’s not going to be eliminated,” Fauci told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “What’s going to happen is that we’re going to see that each individual is going to have to make their calculation of the amount of risk that they want to take in.”
Fauci attributed the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases — a 10.1% increase from a week ago, according to Reuters — to the omicron BA.2 variant, coupled with the relaxation of mitigation measures like masks in indoor places, and waning immunity from vaccines. He said health authorities are watching the numbers closely, but don’t expect a major surge in deaths and hospitalizations.
Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, also stressed the importance of Congress approving funding for additional testing, medication and vaccination, including a fourth booster shot.
“I hope the Congress comes through and gives us the resources so that as we get into what might be another surge that we’re prepared with the ― all of the tools that we need to address it,” Fauci said.
Multiple U.S. officials who attended the Gridiron Club dinner in Washington earlier this month have tested positive, including most recently New York Mayor Eric Adams.
“Like anyone else, the president may at some point test positive for COVID,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday. Psaki has tested positive twice during the pandemic.
Still, Fauci defended the COVID protocols around the president.
“We hope he doesn’t. We’d do everything we can do protect him,” Fauci said. “But, remember, he’s fully vaccinated. He’s doubly boosted, and most of the time, people who get anywhere near him need to be tested. So we feel the protocol is a reasonable protocol.”
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