Fauci says it’s up to each person to assess their Covid risk

Bloomberg — Americans should make their own medical risk assessments as Covid-19 cases rise in the US, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser said, amid a less virulent virus and public exhaustion with restrictions.

“This will not be eradicated and it will not be eliminated,” Anthony Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “And what’s going to happen is we’re going to see that each individual has to make their own calculation of the amount of risk they’re willing to take.”

Fauci’s comments stand in stark contrast to more serious warnings he has issued during earlier phases of the pandemic since 2020. The shift in tone by President Joe Biden’s administration is both political and medical: Americans are tired of restrictions — almost all have now been lifted — while vaccines, immunity and treatments help keep cases less severe.

After several cabinet members and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tested positive for Covid, Fauci said White House protocols are “enough to protect the president.” Biden spent an hour with Pelosi in the two days before she tested positive last week, which included a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

“The protocols to protect the president are pretty strong,” Fauci said, adding that Biden has had four Covid-19 injections and people who come into contact with him should be tested.

Covid may be increasing in the US right now and we may not even know it

Driven by the BA.2 ommicron subvariant, the average reported U.S. infections reached nearly 100,000 on Friday, the most in a month. Health experts say many cases are being missed, in part due to more widespread home testing.

Infections remain a fraction of the peak of the wave of ommicron variants in January, when the daily number peaked to 1.3 million. The number of deaths and hospitalizations continues to fall.

The US’s rejection of most restrictions stands in stark contrast to China, which has fewer daily cases but has shut down the entire city of Shanghai and its 25 million residents, in line with the country’s Covid zero policy. The number of cases is also rising again in Europe, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.

Some people may want to take extra precautions, Fauci said.

“What is my age?” he said. “Do I have people at home who are vulnerable that if I bring the virus home, there could be a problem?”

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