In Wednesday’s White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci shared updates on the current state of the pandemic in the United States, and discussed what can be hoped for in the near future, pointing out that only rarely has a virus been completely eradicated, but that there is a degree of elimination to aim for.
In the CSPAN clip below, Dr. Fauci breaks down a pandemic into stages: the pandemic phase, the decline in cases, control, elimination, and finally eradication. He explains that much of the world, perhaps including the United States, is still in the first stage, although the U.S. may be entering the ‘decline in cases’ stage. After that, he describes the ‘control’ stage, in which there are still cases, but with minimal effect on society’s ability to go about business as usual, using countries that still have malaria cases as an example. Elimination he describes as what’s been done in the United States with polio and measles, but says only one disease of humans, smallpox, has ever been fully eradicated.
Dr. Anthony Fauci on phases of COVID-19: "It is going to be very difficult, at least in the foreseeable future and maybe ever, to truly eliminate this highly transmissible virus."
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 13, 2021
The full video can be viewed on CSPAN here.
However, he warns, “It is going to be very difficult at least in the foreseeable future, and maybe ever, to truly eliminate this highly transmissible virus,” and says that the current goal is to reach a level of control, reiterating that the path to that is through vaccination.
“We know that these vaccines work because when you look at the real-world efficacy, including that in the United States. that if you compare fully vaccinated people with unvaccinated, they have a five times lesser likelihood of getting infected, 10 to 11 to 12 times less likelihood of being hospitalized, and a more than 10 times less likelihood of dying.”
Still, he says again that only one human disease has ever been fully eradicated, and COVID-19 is not necessarily going to be the second on that list.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com