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With most of America starting to re-open, following close to 2 years of COVID restrictions messing with their normal living, many on both sides of the aisle are looking to the CDC and NIH for information on what measurement is in place to determine when the pandemic has officially ended.
As the US states wait for the federal government’s decision on COVID, several have just announced they are ending their indoor maks mandates for those who are vaccinated.
New York and California’s announcements were a surprise as both governors have recently made public declarations that they would be keeping the restrictions in place, even considering returning to court to challenge recent rulings overriding their extensions.
During an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci responded to a question on what the threshold of cases that would cause him to determine the coronavirus pandemic has passed is by saying that “there’s no magic number” and that metrics for making decisions will look more at the rates of severe disease and hospitalizations over infection rates, but “We don’t know what that number is yet.”
Host Linsey Davis asked, “Our country, right now, at least, is still seeing about 147,000 new cases of COVID per day. But what would that threshold be in the future for you to say, okay, the pandemic has passed?”
Fauci responded, “You know, there’s no magic number. But you want is to make sure the trajectory keeps going down and down and down. And I think the important issue, and that relates to one of the questions you asked before about the CDC considering giving more precise metrics for decisionmaking, that concentrating more on what the rate of severe disease and hospitalization is will determine that. We don’t know what that number is yet. But that will be much more of a determinant than the rate of infection.”
On Thursday Fauci was also interviewed on PBS.
The World Health Organization reported infections are down globally. In the last two weeks, new cases in the U.S. have decreased by more than 60 percent and a number of states and cities have been lifting masking requirements. But experts warn about letting our guard down too soon. Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Biden, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss.
There are several things I want to ask you about, Dr. Fauci.
One is, as you know, mask mandates around the country, they seem to be dropping like flies. I mean, we’re almost at a point where the vast majority of states will have dropped mask mandates. But, at the same time, the CDC is saying to Americans, it’s too soon to take off the mask, citing the kind of evidence you were quoting just a moment ago.
Americans, frankly, are confused and wondering, how can you lead — leave this decision up to individual Americans, when the guidance they’re getting is conflicting?
Dr. Anthony Fauci:
Well, I think what it is, Judy, is a reflection of the need, and an understandable need, for people to get back to some form of normality, all the stresses and all of those things that go into people just being so tired of this.
That’s totally understandable. What the CDC is doing is giving you the data as it exists and the recommendation, based on where we are now. The thing that’s important is that many of those locations are likely, in some respects, anticipating what’s going to happen.
So in summary, after these 2 additional interviews, we still can’t get a clear answer from Dr. Fauci on when the COVID pandemic will be considered over.