Fauci says it’s now up to Americans to assess their own COVID-19 risk


Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday appeared to throw in the towel on more government restrictions over COVID-19 — insisting it’s now up to Americans to make their own medical risk assessments.

“This is not going to be eradicated, and it’s not going to be eliminated,” Fauci told ABC’s “This Week.” “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.”

The White House chief medical adviser said Americans will have to consider factors such as their age, vaccination status and whether they live with vulnerable individuals when it comes to coronavirus precautions.

“We’re at that point where in many respects … we’re going to have to live with some degree of virus in the community,” he said.

“The best way to mitigate that is to get vaccinated. If you’re not, to get boosted if you’re eligible to be boosted.”

Fauci’s comments about the state of the pandemic were in stark contrast to the more dire warnings he issued early on in 2020.

They also come amid the spread across the country of the now-dominant BA.2 variant, which is highly contagious but less severe than previous strains.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the President, prepares to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on January 11, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Fauci said the best way to protect against the virus is through vaccination.
Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images

Fauci said that while “there is concern that we are seeing an uptick in cases,” it’s “not unexpected that you’re going to see an uptick when you pull back on the mitigation methods.

“It was said that if we do start seeing an uptick, particularly of hospitalizations, we may need to revert back to being more careful and having more utilizations of masks indoors,” Fauci said. “But 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.” 

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