The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Despite U.S. cases decline, the country doesn’t have ‘control’ of virus, Fauci says

A health-care worker prepares a dose of coronavirus vaccine during a vaccination drive on Jan. 26 at the Jakarta International Expo in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg)
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New coronavirus cases have started to fall nationally, signaling a break in the omicron-fueled spike. But despite the numbers heading in the right direction, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert warned Wednesday that eradicating or eliminating the virus remains unlikely.

On Wednesday, infections declined to an average of 601,302 in the seven-day average, and current hospitalization have leveled off to 148,710, according to data compiled by The Washington Post. These numbers do not indicate the country has “sufficient control,” a critical point the nation must reach so the virus doesn’t “dominate” our lives, Anthony S. Fauci said at a briefing by the White House covid-19 task force. Fauci said the nation can still reach some level of normalcy with effective tools, referring to vaccinations, boosters and antivirals.

“That is not where we are at this point,” he said. “So we still have a way to go.”

Here’s what to know

  • Moderna announced that it was beginning human trials to test its coronavirus vaccine modified to target the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
  • White House officials announced that the United States has donated more than 400 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to other countries under the Biden administration.
  • Spotify is in the process of removing Neil Young’s music two days after the musician demanded that his catalogue be removed in response to the “fake information about vaccines” on the platform.
  • YouTube said it had permanently banned prominent conservative media figure Don Bongino from its site after he repeatedly broke its rules on posting coronavirus misinformation.