President Biden's chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci said this week that the US has moved out of the pandemic phase of COVID-19 and into a "controlled phase," NPR reported on Wednesday. While SARS-CoV-2 continues to infect people across the globe, the high number of people who have been vaccinated and/or infected with the virus means that "you have a rather substantial proportion of the United States population that has some degree of immunity that's residual," Fauci is quoted as saying. Additionally, the availability of COVID-19 treatments such as Pfizer's Paxlovid antiviral pill "means you can come into a place, get tested and, if you are tested, immediately get put on therapy, if they're eligible."
Still, the pandemic is not over in other parts of the world and intermittent vaccination will be key to keeping the virus at bay in the US the long term, he said. "We're not going to eradicate this virus."
Fauci had to clarify his comments after saying on PBS Newshour on Tuesday that the US was "out of the pandemic phase."
He further told the Associated Press that there is more work to do, calling for more vaccinations and booster shots, as well as better access to treatments.