Fauci Stokes Pandemic Fears Despite Plummeting Cases And Deaths

(Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top medical adviser to President Joe Biden, is continuing to urge caution as cases slow down in the U.S.

“We don’t want to declare victory prematurely because we still have a ways to go,” Fauci said in an interview with the Guardian published Monday. “But the more and more people that can get vaccinated, as a community, the community will be safer and safer.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 12,663 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, the lowest single-day number since March 24, 2020. The 7-day average of new cases stands at 18,913 as of Monday, the lowest rate since March 30, 2020. (RELATED: Americans Are ‘Misinterpreting’ CDC Mask Rules, Fauci Says)

Fauci continued to raise alarm about variants, which thus far have failed to derail the United States’ COVID-19 recovery. “As long as there is some degree of activity throughout the world, there’s always a danger of variants emerging and diminishing somewhat the effectiveness of our vaccines.”

So far, vaccines have had no major trouble dealing with variants. Nearly 168 million Americans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and more than 135 million are fully vaccinated.

America’s strong rate of vaccination has coincided with a sharp drop in deaths. The 7-day average in COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has been below 500 for almost two weeks. The last time the death rate dipped below 500 per day prior to this stretch was March 31, 2020. (RELATED: REPORT: US Has ‘Unexamined Intelligence’ That Might Connect COVID-19 To Wuhan Lab)

Fauci said there should be continued “public health measures” to fight the spread of the virus, but did not immediately comment on what specific lockdown measures should be kept in place.

“We cannot abandon public health measures when you still have a degree of viral activity in the broad community in the United States,” Fauci said. “Although we’re down to less than 30,000 infections per day that’s still a lot of infections per day.”

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases previously said the U.S. should not reopen until new cases were below 10,000 per day.