Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Wednesday that it is time for the United States to start inching back towards normality, despite remaining risks from COVID-19.
In an interview with Reuters, Fauci said U.S. states are facing tough choices in their efforts to balance the need to protect their citizens from infections and the growing fatigue with a pandemic that has dragged into its third year.
Earlier on Wednesday, U.S. health officials said they were preparing new COVID-19 guidance on many aspects of the virus response as the Omicron surge in cases declines.
That followed announcements by several states including New Jersey, New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware and Oregon that they were lifting mask mandates for schools or other public settings in the coming weeks.
“The fact that the world and the United States and particularly certain parts of the United States are just up to here with COVID – they just really need to somehow get their life back,” he said.
“You don’t want to be reckless and throw everything aside, but you’ve got to start inching towards that.”
The current seven-day daily average of COVID-19 cases is about 147,000, a decrease of some 40% from the previous week, according to government data. Over the same period, hospital admissions fell about 28% to 9,500 per day.