The U.S. may finally be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to top doctor Anthony Fauci.
The White House's chief infectious disease expert said Tuesday that the U.S. is past the pandemic phase of things, with hospital numbers apparently falling and mask mandates dropping across the country.
"We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase," said Dr. Fauci during an interview with PBS NewsHour.
"We don't have 900,000 new infections a day and tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. We are at a low level right now," Dr. Fauci continued.
However, he also warned that this doesn't mean COVID is gone. Instead, he argued the U.S. appears to be transitioning into an endemic phase, which means the virus will still be around but at lower and more stable infection numbers.
"We're not going to eradicate this virus," he said.
According to Dr. Fauci, if the U.S. can maintain low levels of the virus and "intermittently vaccinate people," it can avoid another surge that would launch it back into pandemic territory.
However, he also pointed out that based on the data, much of the world is still in the pandemic phase.
"If you look at the global situation, there's no doubt this pandemic is still ongoing," he said.
He clarified his views with the Washington Post and explained that unlike in the wintertime, when the U.S. was in a "full-blown pandemic phase," when the Omicron wave hit, the current situation looks drastically different, and the virus is under control.
Deaths dropped from 3,000 to 300 since last winter, explained Dr. Fauci.
"Right now, we're at a low enough level that I believe that we're transitioning into endemicity. We're not in the full-blown explosive pandemic phase," Fauci told the Post.
He also added one note of caution.
"That does not mean that the pandemic is over," he said.
The CDC has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.