Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of Joe Biden’s top advisers, said this week that a likely rise in Covid-19 cases will probably not result in a full-scale surge, or prompt a renewal of widespread health and safety procedures.
“The bottom line is we will likely see an uptick in cases, as we’ve seen in European countries, particularly the U.K.. Hopefully we won’t see a surge. I don’t think we will.”
The BA.2 subvariant of the omicron variant is driving up cases in both Europe and Asia, specifically in Hong Kong which has been dealing with a sudden major surge of new cases within the past couple of weeks.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made the argument that the US needs to be prepared to resume health and safety measures in public spaces, while Fauci claims that he doesn’t think that’s going to happen: “right now, at this point, I don’t see that happening.”
Covid-19 hospitalizations, deaths, and cases in general have been continuing to decline in the US. BA.2 is reportedly 50% more transmissible than the original strain of omicron, however, like omicron it doesn’t cause more severe illness or evade immunity from vaccinations or an earlier infection, according to Fauci.
Fauci and US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy have been urging Congress to pass a Covid-19 relief package that has been stalled for quite some time now. The White House has sought out $22.5 billion in funding for relief efforts and supplies.
The Biden Administration, however, has also warned that it will have to wind down certain programs and therapeutic treatments soon due to a lack of funding.
“As much work as we’ve done in the last two years to get the right tools, we’ve got to continue funding them and supporting them so they’re available to people across the country.”
“That’s why Congress moving to provide that funding is so critical,” Murthy said on Sunday.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has also argued that too much of the money meant to be allocated for Covid-19 programs and protocols has yet to be spent.
“They ought to reprogram some of this massive amount that was spent last year that’s not out the door yet,” McConnell said on Sunday.
Fauci, 81, also discussed speculation over his retirement: “I can’t stay at this job forever. I want to make sure we’re really out of this before I really seriously consider doing anything different. We’re still in this. We have a way to go. I think we are clearly going in the right direction. I hope we stay that way.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.