Feb 9, 2022 - Health

Fauci: U.S. heading out of "full-blown pandemic phase"

Picture of Anthony Fauci

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

COVID-19 pandemic restrictions could end "soon," even as early as this year, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Financial Times in an interview published Tuesday.

The big picture: Fauci explained that he does not believe "we are going to eradicate this virus," but said that it will instead reach an "equilibrium."

  • "I hope we are looking at a time when we have enough people vaccinated and enough people with protection from previous infection that the COVID restrictions will soon be a thing of the past," Fauci said.
  • Fauci added that he hoped restrictions would end "soon," agreeing with a suggestion that they could largely end this year.

State of play: Fauci also said that as the U.S. is "certainly heading out" of a particularly difficult phase of the pandemic driven largely by Omicron, local health departments will be the ones to make virus-related decisions instead of the Biden administration.

What he's saying: "As we get out of the full-blown pandemic phase of COVID-19, which we are certainly heading out of, these decisions will increasingly be made on a local level rather than centrally decided or mandated," Fauci said.

  • "There will also be more people making their own decisions on how they want to deal with the virus."
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