America’s Pandemic Phase Is Over: Fauci
With covid cases and hospitalizations down, and even though infections are still spreading, Dr. Anthony Fauci says that the U.S. has moved "out of the pandemic phase." Fauci, speaking to PBS NewsHour, also said he wasn't surprised that a majority of Americans have been infected with covid.
The Washington Post:
Fauci Says U.S. Is Out Of Coronavirus 'Pandemic Phase'
The United States is finally “out of the pandemic phase,” the country’s top infectious-disease expert said Tuesday, as cases and hospitalizations are notably down and mask mandates are all but gone. While infections are still spreading — with an average of over 50,000 new cases per day as of Tuesday — the country is far from the peaks of the pandemic, when daily counts surpassed 1 million. Restrictions, too, are easing as many Americans appear to be putting the pandemic behind them. Masking requirements have been lifted across most of the country, and officials stopped enforcing a federal mask mandate in transportation settings after a judge struck down the requirement. “We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase,” Anthony S. Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said Tuesday on PBS’s “NewsHour.” (Pietsch, 4/27)
Dr. Fauci On Why The U.S. Is ‘Out Of The Pandemic Phase’
As COVID cases begin to pick up across the U.S. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday said that three out of every four children have been infected by COVID. This comes as the White House moved to make Paxlovid pills, which can reduce serious illness, more widely available. Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden's chief medical adviser, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss. (4/26)
In other news about the spread of covid —
What Do We Know About The New Omicron Mutant?
BA.2.12.1 was responsible for 29% of new COVID-19 infections nationally last week, according to data reported Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it caused 58% of reported infections in the New York region. The variant has been detected in at least 13 other countries, but the U.S. has the highest levels of it so far. Scientists say it spreads even faster than stealth omicron. (Ungar, 4/26)
Can We Trust Rapid COVID Tests Against BA.2? This Is What The Experts Say
COVID-19 cases have been slowly ticking up in the U.S., with the omicron BA.2 subvariant now the dominant strain in the country. At the same time, rapid at-home antigen tests have become the first choice diagnostic tool for many people who think they might be infected. While these rapid tests are useful in detecting the spread of COVID-19, the high infectivity of BA.2 and concerns around self-reporting have given rise to a number of questions. Here is what two health experts have to say. (Levitt and Louise Kelly, 4/27)
Covid Case Metrics Fall Behind Omicron Variant
In early January the state of Massachusetts added a new set of figures to its Covid-19 dashboard. Two years into the pandemic, it began to draw a distinction between people who were hospitalized because of the virus and people who were there for other reasons but also happened to be infected. Nothing changed inside the hospitals’ walls—a Covid-positive patient there because of a car crash still had to be isolated. But the effect on the state’s numbers was dramatic. It cut them in half. (Armstrong, 4/26)
When Hospitalized, Omicron Patients Require Similar Care To Delta Patients
Though they need hospital care much less often, patients hospitalized with the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant require similar levels of respiratory support and intensive care unit (ICU) treatment as those with the Delta variant, according to a Johns Hopkins study published in the May issue of eBioMedicine. The study involved 1,119 Omicron and 908 Delta patients diagnosed from Nov 22 to Dec 31, 2021, in the Washington, DC, area. (4/26)
US Needs More Funding To Fight COVID-19, Says Key White House Official
The United States is at an inflection point in the coronavirus pandemic but needs Congress to authorize more funding to sustain progress, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha said Tuesday. Jha, making his first appearance in the briefing room, told reporters that while cases are on the rise because of the BA.2 variant of the virus, there is reason for optimism as hospitalizations and deaths are at some of the lowest levels of the pandemic to date. (Samuels, 4/26)
Biden To Comply With Forthcoming Order To Keep Covid Border Restrictions In Place
The Biden administration said on Tuesday that it will comply with an expected court order from a Louisiana judge that would block the lifting of Title 42, a Trump-era deportation policy used to expel more than one million migrants at the Southern border. The administration had announced that it would end the use of Title 42, a public health order, by May 23. But a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana announced on Monday that he would side with Republican states to keep the order preserved barring some agreement being reached between them and the administration. (Daniels and Barron-Lopez, 4/26)