The US is heading out of the “full blown” pandemic phase of Covid-19, Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser said, as he predicted a combination of vaccinations, treatments and prior infection would soon make the virus more manageable.
Dr Anthony Fauci told the Financial Times he hoped there would be an end to all pandemic-related restrictions in the coming months including mandatory wearing of masks.
In his most optimistic comments about the trajectory of the pandemic since the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant, Fauci outlined a scenario in which local health departments would lead the response to the virus rather than the Biden administration.
Fauci said: “As we get out of the full-blown pandemic phase of Covid-19, 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.”
Asked when restrictions might end, he said he hoped it would be “soon”, and agreed with the suggestion it was likely to happen this year. But he warned local health departments could reintroduce measures temporarily if outbreaks were detected in the community.