As the United States averaged nearly 90,000 new COVID-19 infections each day and about 66 million Americans were unvaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief physician, that the country must have control in order to approach normalcy.
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“A large part of the world, and in some respects including ourselves, is still in the pandemic phase,” Fauci told a White House briefing on Wednesday, adding later: “We are looking for a level of control over the virus that would allow us to be able to essentially approach the kind of normal that we all want and that we all talk about. “
While the U.S. is experiencing a decline across new infections, hospitalizations and deaths, Fauci said a threshold for adequate control would involve fewer than 10,000 daily new cases.
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“It’s going to be very difficult, at least in the foreseeable future and maybe ever, to really eliminate this highly contagious virus,” Fauci told the briefing, pointing to increases in the number of cases during the spring, summer and fall of 2020, and by late summer 2021. He noted that while each time reported cases accelerated and later fell, the country never gained proper control.
“We can come to control without a doubt, it’s within our power and within our ability,” Fauci said, referring to a fivefold reduction in infection risk among fully vaccinated individuals compared to those who have not yet received shots, as well as an over ten-fold decrease in hospitalization and risk of death, respectively.