Fauci says 'blue states' easing COVID mandates 'have nothing to do with politics'

Fauci says ‘blue states’ easing COVID mandates ‘have nothing to do with politics’

White House COVID czar Dr. Anthony Fauci said the recent surge in blue states lifting pandemic restrictions such as mask requirements “has nothing to do with politics” and is a response to the declining levels of positivity in the country.

“I wouldn’t say it’s politics. I think these are different assessments of what is right for a particular community,” Fauci told MSNBC on Monday.

– When you use the word “politics”, I’m not sure what it is. I just think there is a strong sense of need locally to get back to normal.”

He added: “Now if you look at it scientifically, I mean the direction is going in the right direction. Are we still in every place across the country? I do not think so. But there are places that look at the trajectory and say let’s follow it.”

The public health leader’s comments came as the Democratic states of California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York began easing restrictions.

Cases in the country have dropped 44 percent over the past week, with a daily average of 151,056 infections a far drop from the 800,000 a day reached at the peak of the Omicron surge in mid-January, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The U.S. is currently averaging 2,306 COVID deaths per day over the last week. In recent weeks, this indicator has fluctuated in the range from 2400 to 2500, and now there are first signs that it will start to fall.

Fauci warned that while the number of cases is “going in the right direction,” he doesn’t want anyone to “declare victory prematurely.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci said the recent surge in blue states lifting COVID restrictions such as mask requirements

Dr. Anthony Fauci said the recent surge in blue states lifting COVID restrictions such as mask requirements “has nothing to do with politics” and is a response to declining infections.

Critics have slammed Democratic Party leaders for relaxing mask-wearing mandates and other COVID-related restrictions, despite previously criticizing the same officials for enforcing them.

Skeptics argue that Democrats are abruptly backing away from their tough restrictions amid fears of losing majorities in the House and Senate in the upcoming midterm elections.

For example, Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock released a new campaign ad last week, noting that “people are tired” of mandates in the form of video editing of scenes without masks across the state flashing on the screen.

Warnock then went on to say that people “wonder when things will go back to normal and at the same time don’t know what normality even means.”

However, Fauci argues that the decisions are based solely on scientific evidence and changing rates of incidence.

“Well, if you look at the trajectory of illnesses and hospitalizations, it is clearly moving in the right direction,” he said.

“I mean, obviously the CDC is still recommending wearing a mask because of the infection rates we’re seeing, but I think the states see we’re moving in the right direction and they feel like they can just go back.” to attempts to return to some form of normality by lifting restrictions.

The number of cases in the country has dropped by 44 percent over the past week, and the daily average of 151,056 infections is a far drop from the 800,000 cases per day reached at the peak of the Omicron surge in mid-January, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The number of cases in the country has dropped by 44 percent over the past week, and the daily average of 151,056 infections is a far drop from the 800,000 cases per day reached at the peak of the Omicron surge in mid-January, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The U.S. is currently averaging 2,306 COVID deaths per day over the last week.  In recent weeks, this indicator has fluctuated in the range from 2400 to 2500, and now there are first signs that it will start to fall.

The U.S. is currently averaging 2,306 COVID deaths per day over the last week. In recent weeks, this indicator has fluctuated in the range from 2400 to 2500, and now there are first signs that it will start to fall.

Fauci also warned that states should “be careful” in their decisions because making such decisions “prematurely” could have undesirable consequences.

He said that’s why the CDC “will continue to monitor these things and make changes to the advice as we see the trajectory continue to decline.”

“But it’s completely understandable why states at the local level look at their local situation and make decisions,” Fauci said.

“Here’s how it works. The CDC makes recommendations and the decision is made locally based on what’s going on in your particular location.”

Cases of COVID have been declining in all 50 U.S. states over the past two weeks, with 46 of them halving in that period.

Oklahoma, Nebraska, is seeing the sharpest falls, with both daily infections dropping by more than 80 percent in the last 14 days. Oklahoma was one of the last US states to still maintain an upward trend during the Omicron surge.

Critics have criticized Democratic Party leaders for easing mask mandates and other COVID-related restrictions, arguing the move is driven by fear of losing a majority during the upcoming midterm elections.  Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock released a new campaign ad last week (pictured), noting that

Critics have criticized Democratic Party leaders for easing mask mandates and other COVID-related restrictions, arguing the move is driven by fear of losing a majority during the upcoming midterm elections. Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock released a new campaign ad last week (pictured), noting that “people are tired” of mandates.

In 17 states, cases have dropped by more than 70 percent in the past two weeks. These astronomical numbers are likely to start to decline soon as the number of COVID cases starts to reach such low levels that they are likely to stabilize soon.

The deaths are finally starting to move in the right direction. The figure, which often lags cases by weeks, has recently leveled off and is now showing the first signs of a downward trend.

Only three US states still report more than one daily death from COVID per 100,000 residents. Each is a southern state with low vaccination rates.

Mississippi continues to lead the nation in COVID deaths. Magnolia State records 1.76 daily COVID deaths for every 100,000 residents, by far the highest of any state. In addition, only 51 percent of residents were vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in the country.

West Virginia, where only 56 percent of residents are vaccinated, and Arkansas, which has a 53 percent vaccination rate, are also seeing high rates of deaths from COVID.

In 17 states, cases have dropped by more than 70 percent in the past two weeks.

In 17 states, cases have dropped by more than 70 percent in the past two weeks.

The number of COVID hospitalizations also decreased by 23% compared to last week.

The number of COVID hospitalizations also decreased by 23% compared to last week.

Only three US states still report more than one daily death from COVID per 100,000 residents.  Each of the southern states with low vaccination rates

Only three US states still report more than one daily death from COVID per 100,000 residents. Each of the southern states with low vaccination rates

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and current board member of Pfizer, said last week that Americans are “exhausted” after almost two years of COVID and it’s time to let them relax as the pandemic is in full swing. shows signs of ending.

“I don’t think it’s careless when governors lean forward expecting conditions to continue to improve, acknowledging that people are frazzled,” he said last week in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box.

“We have a narrow window of opportunity to restore the schools to normalcy.”

Even some Obama-era officials are beginning to intervene to support the removal of these mandates.

Dr. Kavita Patel, an MSNBC correspondent who is a primary care physician and director of policy for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Affairs in the Obama administration, told Squawk Box last week that mandates should be eliminated and parents should be able to choose for whether they themselves want to send their children to school every day with a face covering.

“If you were to tell me that there is a future where we will wear masks forever, I would say that this is ridiculous, science does not support this if we see that the number of cases is decreasing,” Patel said.

Some states are starting to heed these calls from parents and the wider community. Connecticut and Massachusetts made plans to end mandatory school masks on February 28 last week.

Neighboring Delaware did the same last week. Last week, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont told the Squawk Box that the northeastern states’ decision was made jointly.

Other states such as Illinois, New Jersey and New York also eased mask requirements last week but did not remove face coverings from schools.

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