Dr. Anthony Fauci conceded this week that the U.S. “pandemic phase” was over with regard to COVID-19 — but that apparently is not enough to convince the president’s Chief Medical Advisor that it’s safe enough to attend the upcoming White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Fauci joined host Judy Woodruff on “PBS Newshour,” and told her that the United States was finally out of the COVID-19 “pandemic phase.”
JUST IN: Dr. Anthony Fauci tells our @JudyWoodruff the U.S. is "out of the pandemic phase." https://t.co/x2wbLMyl6O pic.twitter.com/xA71jE4Fuv
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) April 26, 2022
“Here we are, the end of April, the Spring of 2022. How close are we to the end of this pandemic?” Woodruff asked.
“Well, that’s an unanswerable question for the following reason, and I don’t want to be evasive about it, but let me tell you why I’m giving you that answer,” Fauci began. “We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase, namely we don’t have 900,000 new infections a day and tens and tens and tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. We are at a low level right now.”
“So, if you’re saying if we are out of the pandemic phase in this country? We are. What we hope to do, I don’t believe I’ve spoken about this widely, we’re not going to eradicate this virus,” Fauci continued, saying that keeping the level low might require additional vaccine boosters over time.
“That might be every year, it might be longer in order to keep the level low. But right now we are not in the pandemic phase in this country,” he concluded.
Despite that assessment, however, CNN reported that Fauci has backed out of plans to attend the upcoming White House Correspondents’ Dinner — which he was scheduled to attend as a guest of ABC News.
“He recently decided to abandon those plans and inform ABC that he would no longer attend because of an individual assessment of his own personal risk,” CNN’s Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy reported.