Dr. Anthony Fauci: “Omicron Will Ultimately Find Everybody”
Dr. Anthony Fauci joined J. Stephen Morrison for a CSIS live-streamed conversation on January 11. Today’s podcast is based on that conversation. Does Dr. Fauci believe the pandemic is in transition? Yes. “I have been talking about a transition since October 13.” What might that mean? “Ultimately we will need a new strategy. We cannot let this virus dominate our lives for much longer. We have to get to the point where all of us get our lives back.” The pandemic remains “a moving target.” Omicron is in effect the fifth wave, and we have to get the American people to pull together to end it. “We all really want the same goal.” It’s a mistake “if we landed on Normandy and begin to argue among ourselves over whether it was a mistake to land... soon enough you get off the beach and win the war.” A reset on communications is needed but the “degree of divisiveness and polarization is profound, driven by disinformation and misinformation.” Internationally, it is in both the U.S. moral and national self-interest to assist low and middle-income countries to respond to the pandemic. The United States is doing “more than the rest of the world combined” and will do more. But other wealthy countries must also step up. Dr. Fauci remains worried that as the situation stabilizes the will to finance long-term capacities will fade. “We have been to that movie before.” The decision to restore US membership in WHO “was a big shot in the arm” for WHO, and WHO has done very well of late, particularly under the leadership of Dr. Tedros. It is “absolutely critical to develop a new détente with China” as well as with other countries in Asia where future viruses may also arise. The Department of Defense has a critically important role to play in our response, in logistics and science. Advancing the readiness of US forces overlaps with protection of the world.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is the President’s Chief Medical Advisor and Director, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).