Fauci cautions Biden that ‘we are not where we need to be’ after Biden declared ‘pandemic is over’

Fauci cautions Biden that ‘we are not where we need to be’ after Biden declared ‘the pandemic is over’ – just months after he said COVID is now ‘endemic’

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, 81, said on Monday the pandemic isn’t over and that ‘we are not where we need to be if we’re going to be able to quote ‘live with the virus’
  • His declaration comes just a day after President Joe Biden, 79, declared ‘the pandemic is over’ on Sunday  
  • Fauci cited the constant threat of variants and only having 67 percent of the US population vaccinated as a reason the US is not out of the woods yet 
  • ‘[There is a] lack of a uniform acceptance of the interventions that are available to us in this country where even now,’ he said on Monday 
  • He also claimed that the 400 deaths a day is ‘unacceptably high’ 
  • Despite the president’s comments on the current status of the pandemic, White House officials said there are ‘no plans to lift the Public Health Emergency’ 

Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioned Joe Biden that ‘we are not where we need to be’ a day after the president declared the pandemic ‘over.’ 

The declaration comes just months after Fauci likened the COVID-19 pandemic to ‘more of an endemic situation’ in August, but the doctor is now saying it depends on ‘how we respond’ to the variants. 

‘We are much better off now for a number of reasons that you mentioned, but we are not where we need to be if we’re going to be able to quote ‘live with the virus’ because we know we’re not going to eradicate it,’ Fauci, 81, told Jay Stephen Morrison, the senior vice president of Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Monday. 

‘How we respond and how we’re prepared for the evolution of these variants is going to depend on us.’  

Just a day earlier, Biden, 79, declared that the ‘pandemic is over,’ despite admitting directly after that the US ‘still has a problem with COVID.’ 

‘We’re still doing a lot of work on it,’ Biden said as he strolled through the Detroit Auto Show for a 60 Minutes interview. ‘But the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one is wearing masks, everybody seems to be in pretty good shape, so I think it’s changing and this is a perfect example of it.’ 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, 81, said the pandemic isn't over just yet and that 'we are not where we need to be if we're going to be able to quote "live with the virus"'

Dr. Anthony Fauci, 81, said the pandemic isn’t over just yet and that ‘we are not where we need to be if we’re going to be able to quote ‘live with the virus”

In conversation with CSIS' Jay Stephen Morrison (left), Fauci said the death rate was 'unacceptably high' and that unless more Americans get vaccinated and boosted, it will still effect society

In conversation with CSIS’ Jay Stephen Morrison (left), Fauci said the death rate was ‘unacceptably high’ and that unless more Americans get vaccinated and boosted, it will still effect society 

The White House has since walked back on Biden’s comments, telling CNN: ‘The President’s comments do not mark a change in policy toward the administration’s handling of the virus, and there are no plans to lift the Public Health Emergency.’ 

The health emergency is currently in place until October 13 and has been in place since January 2020.  

Fauci took a different approach than the president, saying that although the outbreak’s ‘intensity’ is much lower, the approximate 400 COVID-19 deaths per day is still ‘I believe, unacceptably high.’ 

‘[There is a] lack of a uniform acceptance of the interventions that are available to us in this country where even now – more than two years, close to three years into the outbreak – we have only 67 percent of our population vaccinated and only one-half of those have received a single boost,’ Fauci told CSIS. 

Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor, who will be stepping down in December, was more worried about eradication rates in declaring COVID-19 over. 

‘We only did that with one virus which is smallpox and that was very different, because smallpox doesn’t change from year to year, or decade per decade or, even from century to century,’ he said on Monday. 

‘We’re not going to eradicate it. It’s unlikely we’re going to eliminate it, that we get to a level of control that’s low enough that it doesn’t disrupt our social order and essentially dominate what happens in society’ 

The father-of-three did admit that the US is ‘heading in that direction,’ it is unlikely it will be completely eradicated, especially as Fall and Winter roll in. 

He said a ‘suspicious’ variant is already ‘on the horizon’ and the constant chance of new variants will continuously change the game, unless the vaccination rate improves. 

Fauci's words came just a day after President Joe Biden (left) told 60 Minutes that the 'pandemic is over,' despite admitting directly after that the US 'still has a problem with COVID.' Around 400 Americans are dying per day due to the coronavirus

Fauci’s words came just a day after President Joe Biden (left) told 60 Minutes that the ‘pandemic is over,’ despite admitting directly after that the US ‘still has a problem with COVID.’ Around 400 Americans are dying per day due to the coronavirus 

In August, the doctor told NPR that increasing the vaccination rate could get the virus ‘at a low enough level’ that it would not disturb ‘our social order.’ 

‘If we can get the people who’ve not been boosted to get boosted – and certainly those who’ve not been vaccinated to get vaccinated – we could be where you and I are talking about now, where we want to be, as we get into the end of this year and next year,’ he told NPR.  

In May, Fauci had announced he thought the US was ‘out of the pandemic phase,’ but quickly walked back on his statements, saying it was closer to a ‘transitional phase.’ 

He said at the time that he believed the US would reach an ‘endemic’ stage by the time he retired as head of from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) in December, a position he held for 38 years. 

As of Monday, the US had more than 67,000 new COVID-19 cases, with a weekly average of 58,500.  

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