‘Elimination is tough’: Fauci focused on getting ‘control’ of Covid spread

Dr Fauci is not sure if Covid-19 will ever be eradicated

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Friday 03 December 2021 20:44 GMT
Virus Outbreak Biden
Virus Outbreak Biden (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

White House chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci said Friday he could not give a definitive answer on when the Covid pandemic would slow to a degree that would allow American life to return to normal.

Asked by Fox Business Network host Neil Cavuto if the American public could look forward to updated booster shots each year for new variants in the same way Americans get a different influenza vaccine each year, Dr Fauci replied: “I don’t have a definitive answer because we cannot know”.

“When you think about the infectious diseases, you think about pandemic level which we’re at, then you have a deceleration when the cases come down, then you have variable degrees of control,” he explained.

Dr Fauci said a goal would be either eradicating or eliminating the Sars-CoV-2 virus from circulation worldwide, but cautioned that he did not think the former outcome was a realistic possibility because viruses are not usually eradicated.

“I don’t think there’s a chance you’re going to eradicate this because we’ve only eradicated one virus – eradicated one virus to humans in history, and that’s smallpox,” he said.

“Elimination is tough. We’ve eliminated polio from this country, we’ve eliminated measles from this country. And we’ve done it by very effective vaccination campaigns. I’m not so sure we’re going to be able to do that, at least not in the near future … so what I’m thinking about is control … a level of control that is … better than where we are right now because yesterday we had 95,000 new cases”.

Dr Fauci added that the goal is to get the level of new cases, hospitalisations, and deaths “much, much lower… so that even though we don’t eliminate it from the country, it is at such a low level that it doesn’t interfere with our lives, our lifestyle, our economy, what we do with ourselves”.

“When we get enough people protected either from getting infected already, getting vaccinated, getting boosted, that’s where I think we’re going to be,” he said.

“Whether or not we’re going to need a vaccine boost of some sort at intervals, I don’t know. It’s likely that will be the case. We do know that with the boosters we’re giving now we’re getting not only a higher level of immunity, we’re getting more breadth of immunity which I believe may give us more duration,” he continued. “So better control is what I think we need to look for, and then we can get back to some form of normality to our lives”.

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