Dr. Fauci still insists it is too early to say the covid pandemic is winding down because of the contagious but still mild Omicron virus variant.
Speaking online to the World Economic Forum, he was asked if COVID-19 would finally turn endemic this year. He replied by saying it is too early to say for sure and that the world seems to be in phase one of five-phases, The NY Times reported.
“Dr. Fauci also stated that we are still in the first phase of what he said was the five phases of the covid pandemic. The first is the ‘really pandemic’ phase, ‘where everything is very negatively changed,’ followed by the deceleration, control, removal, and eradication,” The Times said.
Fauci also said the only infectious human virus to ever be fully eradicated was the smallpox virus but said, “That is not going to happen with covid-19.”
Further, Fauci said that nations needed to get to phase two, or the “control” phase, to ensure the virus had a “non-disruptive presence” in society. When this happens, he stated, the virus could be thought of as endemic, comparing it to the rhinovirus and other such upper respiratory infections.
Fauci also said during the event that since the Omicron variant was more contagious but causes less symptoms, it might help with collective immunity, but insisted “it was an open question as to if Omicron would be the live virus vaccination that people were hoping for, since there is such a great amount of variability with new variants showing up.”
“I would hope that this is not the case,” Fauci said, “but that would only happen if we do not get another variant that gets around the immune response.”
Fauci cautioned that the future of the covid pandemic is still unknown, stated, “The answer is: We don’t know.”
Fauci is a polarizing person, from routinely changing his opinion on various parts of the pandemic like masks and isolation, to consistently saying we are hardly any better off than we were in the early months of 2020.