Dr. Fauci: Americans must be prepared for new COVID-19 restrictions

Dr. Fauci

Dr. Fauci: Americans must be prepared for new COVID-19 restrictions

White House chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned Sunday that COVID-19 restrictions might be reimposed in the United States.

Presenter Sophie Raworth asked if a novel infectious COVID-19 variant could lead to future closures and disappearances.

"I don't want to use the word 'lockdowns.'" he said, "that has a fraught element. But I think we have to watch the pattern of what we see with infection," noting that the United States is currently moving towards normalcy.

"Having said that, we should be prepared for the possibility of another variable emerging," Fauci noted. "And then, if things change and we get a variant that gives us an increase in cases and hospitalizations, we have to be prepared and flexible enough to focus on going back - at least temporarily - to a more stringent kind of restrictions, like where it requires indoor masks."

Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have declined rapidly in the United States since the coronavirus outbreak increased in the winter.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that the United States reported 42,967 new cases and 985 new deaths in the past day. In contrast, the daily death toll in January exceeded 4,000. According to the(CDC), the transmissible BA.2 omicron sub-variant that has spread worldwide currently accounts for 54.9% of cases.

Long-term symptoms of the virus may depend on which variant the person contracted.

Fauci warned that "the same conditions" that appear to lead to a resurgence of cases in Europe are occurring in the United States.

"It's the greater transmissibility of BA.2, it's the loosening of restrictions, especially in the context of indoor concealment in gathering places, and also the fact that immunity, both due to vaccination as well as to people who have been infected previously, tends to be diminished with SARS-CoV-2 - especially with Omicron.

Last week, Fauci said he does not expect another significant increase in COVID-19.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we see a fairly small increase," Fauci said at an event in the Washington Post. "I don't see, unless something changes significantly, that there will be a significant increase." With the administration now running out of money for the fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the future of the pandemic in America is uncertain.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) moved to authorize a second batch of the COVID-19 vaccines Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech for people aged 50 and older.

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