Fauci: Americans should prepare for possibility of fresh COVID-19 restrictions

The White House adviser said he does not currently believe the U.S. is headed toward another "lockdown," but people should be prepared for the possibility.

Published: March 30, 2022 9:58am

Updated: March 30, 2022 10:28am

White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci is again floating the possibility of COVID-19 restrictions.

On Sunday, during an interview on the BBC, Fauci said that Americans "need to be prepared for the possibility" of restrictions going back into effect amid the emergence of the Omnicron sub-varient BA.2.

"I don't want to use the word 'lockdowns,' " he said. "That has a charged element to it. But I believe that we must keep our eye on the pattern of what we're seeing with infections," he said, responding to the presenter's question about the potential of a new variant sending the nation back into a restricted state.

"We need to be prepared for the possibility that we would have another variant that would come along. And then, if things change and we do get a variant that does give us an uptick in cases and hospitalization, we should be prepared and flexible enough to pivot toward going back – at least temporarily – to a more rigid type of restrictions, such as requiring masks indoors," he said.

The adviser did not that, at present, the U.S. is moving back toward a position of normalcy as hospitalizations and death figures have rapidly declined, and infection rates have gone down since the winter-time surge caused by the Omicron variant.

According to new data from the CDC, the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron has become the dominant global strain of the virus, though Fauci has said that despite anticipating an uptick, he does not believe, of now, "that there would be a major surge."

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