Bloomberg — Americans need to make their own medical risk assessments as Covid-19 cases accelerate in the U.S., President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser said, reflecting a less virulent virus and public exhaustion with restrictions.
“This is not going to be eradicated and it’s not going to be eliminated,” Anthony Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “And 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.”
Fauci’s comments contrast with more dire warnings he issued during earlier phases of the pandemic since 2020. The shift in tone by President Joe Biden’s administration is both political and medical: Americans have tired of restrictions — almost all have now been lifted — while vaccines, immunity and treatments are helping keep cases less severe.
After several cabinet members and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tested positive for Covid, Fauci said White House protocols “are sufficient to protect” the president. Biden had spent about an hour with Pelosi during the days leading up to her test positive, and included an embrace as well as a kiss on Pelosi’s cheek.
“The protocols to protect the president are pretty strong,” Fauci said, adding that Biden has had four Covid-19 shots and people who come in contact with him must be tested.
Covid could be on the rise in America Covid could be on the rise in America right now, and we might not even know it
The average number of reported U.S. infection cases was almost 100,000, according to the BA.2 subvariant. This is the highest in one month. Experts in health say that many cases go unreported due to widespread home testing.
The number of infections is still a small fraction of what they were during the January peak in the omicron variant waves, which saw daily cases rise to as high as 1.3million. Still, hospitalizations and deaths are declining.
The U.S.’s rejection of most restrictions contrasts with China, which has fewer daily cases but has locked down the entire city of Shanghai and its 25 million residents, in line with the nation’s Covid-zero policy. Data compiled by Bloomberg and Johns Hopkins University shows that cases in Europe are on the rise again.
Fauci stated that some people might want to be extra cautious.
“What is my age?” he said. “Do I have people at home who are vulnerable that, if I bring the virus home, there may be a problem?”
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