Fauci walks backs comment that the U.S. is out of the 'pandemic phase'

"I probably should have said the acute component of the pandemic phase," said Fauci.
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Anthony Fauci, May 11
Anthony Fauci, May 11
(Pool/Getty)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, is walking back his statement that the U.S. is "out of the pandemic phase."

"I want to clarify one thing. I probably should have said the 'acute component of the pandemic phase,' " Fauci said on National Public Radio on Wednesday, one day after he said the country was "out of the pandemic phase."

"I understand how that can lead to some misinterpretation," he also told NPR.

Fauci, who also is President Biden's top medical adviser, originally said on a PBS radio show that the country was out of the pandemic phase because COVID case counts, hospitalizations and deaths had hit low points following the winter surge of the virus' Omnicron variant. 

"We don’t have 900,000 new infections a day and tens and tens and tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths," Fauci said on PBS.

On Wednesday, Fauci also told The Washington Post: "We’re really in a transitional phase, from a deceleration of the numbers into hopefully a more controlled phase and endemicity."