(The Hill) — The U.S. is exiting the “full-blown” pandemic phase of the years-long COVID-19 crisis that began in 2020, the Biden administration’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci told the Financial Times on Tuesday.
Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that new developments that limit COVID-19, including vaccinations, medical treatments and prior infection, will alter the pandemic situation significantly in the coming months.
“As we get out of the full-blown pandemic phase of COVID-19,” Fauci said to the Times. “Which we are certainly heading out of, these decisions will increasingly be made on a local level rather than centrally decided or mandated. There will also be more people making their own decisions on how they want to deal with the virus.”
Fauci said that he hopes all COVID-19 restrictions will be halted in the coming months as well, citing mandatory mask-wearing as one of the restrictions he expects to end. He agreed that restrictions might end in 2022.
Nonetheless, Fauci warned that local health departments might bring back certain restrictions if regional outbreaks occur.
“There is no way we are going to eradicate this virus,” said Fauci according to the Times. “But I hope we are looking at a time when we have enough people vaccinated and enough people with protection from previous infection that the Covid restrictions will soon be a thing of the past.”
Over 900,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 since 2020. However, COVID-19 cases are currently rapidly decreasing.