Fauci Says “Full-Blown” Pandemic Is Almost Over

He also expressed optimism that Covid restrictions could soon be lifted.

Greg Nash/AP

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As the number of new Covid cases continues to plunge across the country, Dr. Anthony Fauci has offered his most hopeful assessment of the pandemic yet, telling the Financial Times this week that the United States was “certainly” exiting the most dangerous phase. He also expressed optimism that Covid restrictions, including mask mandates, could soon be lifted.

“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,” Fauci said in a new interview. “There will also be more people making their own decisions on how they want to deal with the virus.” 

The remarks come as more states, and notably, Democratic-leaning ones, lift Covid restrictions—with some like New Jersey easing mandates in schools and others loosening mandates on businesses. For now, the White House has stood by the CDC’s recommendations on mask-wearing in schools. But the Biden administration is increasingly under pressure to deliver a road map for what the end of the pandemic could look like.

Pandemic-weary Americans are sure to welcome the new signs of hope. But some on the right, particularly GOP politicians who have cast the nation’s top expert on infectious diseases as a political bogeyman, have already weaponized Fauci’s cautious optimism as evidence that their vociferous opposition to Covid restrictions was justified all along. 

That, of course, fails to recognize the inherently evolving nature of what it means to be in a pandemic. Nor does it take into account the success that scientifically backed Covid safety measures have had in helping to reduce new infections. But that isn’t the point of any of this now, is it?

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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