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The US is in ‘transition phase’ of pandemic, Fauci says


By Naomi Thomas and Brenda Goodman, CNN

The United States is “certainly, right now, in this country, out of the pandemic phase,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on PBS’s “NewsHour” on Tuesday.

“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, are we out of the pandemic phase in this country? We are,” he said.

On Wednesday, Fauci told CNN that his comments had been mischaracterized by some to mean that the pandemic is over, “which is not what I said.”

“We’re not over the pandemic. Don’t let anybody get the misinterpretation that the pandemic is over, but what we are in is a different phase of the pandemic,” he said. “A phase that’s a transition phase, hopefully headed toward more of a control where you can actually get back to some form of normality without total disruption of society, economically, socially, school-wise, etc.”

Fauci noted that, in fact, Covid-19 cases are trending up again, though it’s not anywhere near the rise we saw over the winter with the Omicron wave.

“So what we need to do is continue to be vigilant, to follow the CDC guidelines, to do the kinds of things that protect you: Get vaccinated, if you’re not vaccinated; get boosted if you’re eligible for a boost. If you do get infected, be aware that there is availability of antivirals.”

Fauci’s comments on PBS drew attention on the same day the Biden administration announced that he would not be attending the annual White House Correspondents Dinner after considering his individual risk.

“Each of us, in our own personal way, has to make an assessment of what risk you’re willing to accept about getting infected,” Fauci told CNN. “In general, the risk is low, but I made a personal assessment. I’m 81 years old, and if I get infected, I have a much higher risk.”

Cases and hospitalizations are rising in the US

Covid-19 cases in the US have tumbled dramatically over the past couple of months as the Omicron wave receded.

But daily cases are still two times higher than they were for most of last summer.

New cases are ticking back up in most states, and hospitalizations have started to rise over the past week.

Fewer people are dying of Covid-19 now than during most of the pandemic, but with more than 400 deaths a day, the past two months of Covid-19 have been more deadly than most recent flu seasons.

Fauci said that although the coronavirus won’t be eradicated, the level of virus in society could be kept very low if people are intermittently vaccinated, possibly every year.

Currently, local health officials on the ground across the US are still working to get more people fully vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19.

The EU outlines its response to the next phase of the pandemic

According to Fauci, the Covid-19 situation in the United States also doesn’t necessarily reflect what’s happening in the rest of the world.

“Pandemic means a widespread, throughout the world infection that spreads rapidly among people,” Fauci said. “So if you look at the global situation, there is no doubt this pandemic is still ongoing.”

The European Commission said Wednesday that the Covid-19 pandemic is not over and that “vigilance and preparedness remain essential” as it published a set of proposals to help European countries manage the current phase and prepare for the next one.

The commission called on the 27 countries in the European Union “to strengthen their surveillance, healthcare systems, and overall pandemic preparedness” as well as “step up vaccination and boosting” and “continue targeted testing and sequencing” to accurately estimate variant circulation and detect new variants.

European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said Wednesday that between 60% and 80% of the US population is estimated to have had Covid-19.

“How we prepare today for the next phase will determine the cause of the pandemic in the coming months and years,” she said.

Looking ahead

In the US, shifting out of the pandemic is not language that Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive officer of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, has heard in conversations within local health departments, she said Wednesday.

But there has been a subtle shift on the ground with local health officials now returning some focus to non-Covid areas such as maternal health, childhood immunizations, tuberculosis and HIV.

“I think there are subtle shifts being made at the local level health departments to normalize the pandemic response in a way that allows them to get back to the core work of their public health departments,” Freeman said. “But those words that were used about the pandemic ending are not well-circulated in the public health area right now.”

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Jacqueline Howard, Deidre McPhillips and James Frater contributed to this report.




  1. Watching CNN’s Ratings continue to crash and their CNN+ quitting after just 30 days, it makes me wonder where KTVZ will get their national news from when CNN finally Dies. So much News out there that we never see here. Oh well, plenty of choices.

    1. They’re not dying. They were just part of a large merger. Don’t hold your breath. They are vastly factual and when their politics lean in wire stories (no other network provides a similar service to affiliates), we’ve not promoted their stuff. New boss will try to take the middle ground more prominently, like they did most of their history.

      1. They won’t go to the middle. If that was going to happen it would have when their ratings were just OK. They chose to double down on crazy and ride the ratings all the way to the bottom. They are idealogues, they’d rather lose than admit they are wrong.

        1. And many who watch them would say the same about msnbc on the left and Fox on the right. Believe what you will. Much of their material here, the CNN Wire content, is factual and balanced. I’ve said we have issues with some, but not the broad-brush attacks that are so obviously over the top. We ask for specifics on today’s content and folks twist, change the subject or go back to the talking points of years ago.

          1. Barney – Much of their material here, the CNN Wire content, is factual and balanced. Really? I read 4 years of Russia collusion (FAKE NEWS) and not a single article about Hunter Biden’s lap top, and how Joe says he he knew nothing about Hunter’s business dealings, but met with his partner in the Whitehouse 27 times. I just reported more than CNN in the last 2 sentences.

            1. I am talking TODAY’s content. And of course there have been numerous stories on the whole laptop deal. Guess you don’t remember or never searched.
              I just did. Here’s just two days ago:
              I just doubt they spun it the way you wanted. But you have your sources, I’m sure. Factual? I’ll leave that to others.
              But when you say “not a single article,” it’s just another false spin.

              1. Great, one article about information hidden that could have changed the election results. Can you put a number on the articles that turned out to be FAKE News generated by CNN, and proudly put on KTVZ? Did KTVZ ever say, Oop’s that was proved to be wrong, we are sorry to have put that front and center. Put a link to that. I’m not looking for article to be spun, I can read between the lines. Weller12 said perfectly, there is a lot of news out there we will never see on KTVZ because you use CNN as your main source.

                1. Nope, not going down that no-win rabbit hole. We stand by today’s content being factual and balanced. What people “read between the lines,” often false ulterior motives, we cannot control. I just showed you were wrong about there being ‘no articles,” so of course you change the question.

                2. They’ll never admit it. Just like KTVZ ran with the story on Ammon Bundy and his trespassing charge. Their liberal sycophants spread their hate and lies all over KTVZ’s comment page and when the Idaho court threw the charge out do you think KTVZ reported that? Nope. Doesn’t fit their narrative and they MUST control that narrative. CNN factual is a straight up lie and we all know it. Barney knows it too.

                3. We post AP’s stories run by 100s of media outlets around the region.
                  You switch between “lie” and “didn’t report.” Find factual errors in CNN content, we’ll pass it along. Read between the lines and that’s your issue.

            2. That’s right! Joe knew nothing about Hunter’s business dealings. That’s why Joe paid Hunter’s legal fees for his business dealings. Because he knew nothing about Hunter’s business dealings.

        1. What about them? We have expanded our AP state-wire content to full versions of their stories in recent days. But … we don’t have the severe heartburn so many anonymous critics do with the day-to-day CNN Wire content. Most of it is pretty good.

  2. Transitioning ??? Like moving on from uncontrollable irrational hysterics- to complete ignorance and situational avoidance ??? Yup- “Joe Biden did that” !

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