“This is not going to be eradicated, and it’s not going to be eliminated,” Fauci told ABC’s “This Week” about the CCP virus, which causes COVID-19. “And what’s going to happen is that we’re going to see that each individual is going to have to make their calculation of the amount of risk that they want to take.”
Now Americans should consider factors such as age, vaccination status, or whether they’re immunocompromised in some way.
“What is my age?” Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since the mid-1980s, asked rhetorically on the ABC show. “Do I have people at home who are vulnerable that, if I bring the virus home, there may be a problem?”
Fauci’s comments contrast with ones he’s made throughout the pandemic. In numerous media appearances, Fauci has often issued dire predictions and has called for government-instituted rules and other lockdowns—often drawing criticism from Republicans and other groups.
“Dr. Fauci is finally coming around to what we’ve all known for a while,” Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), one of the critics, wrote in response. “We must learn to live with COVID and assess individual risk.”
In recent months, case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths have significantly declined. Case numbers, in particular, are right now at a fraction of the so-called Omicron variant wave that was spreading through the United States in mid-January.
“Right now, we’re watching it very, very carefully, and there is concern that it’s going up, but hopefully we’re not going to see increased severity,” Fauci said.
Outside the United States, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has implemented a lockdown throughout Shanghai, one of the largest cities in the world, due to a reported rise in COVID-19 cases on April 1. Many residents have been locked in their homes for up to three weeks with the threat of heavy fines or more severe punishments.
Shanghai officials have insisted on continuing a strict “zero-COVID” policy after announcing that more than 25 million residents have been tested for COVID-19, and no sign that the city’s lockdown will soon be lifted.
The Shanghai lockdown has led to widespread discontent among locals, who’ve complained about a shortage of food and medicine, access to medical treatment for non-COVID-19 diseases, and children being forcibly separated from their families and taken away for quarantine.
Frank Fang contributed to this report.