‘The slope is going down’: Fauci gives optimistic prediction on Covid

Dr Anthony Fauci has said he feels optimistic about declining Covid cases in the US and “strongly suspects” that deaths from the disease will also start to fall in the coming weeks.

Talking to CNN anchor Greta Van Systeren on Sunday, the US chief medical adviser said there had been a “turnaround” in infections from Covid and that he hoped deaths would eventually fall.

According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, the seven-day average in Covid infections has fallen by 11.6 per cent in the past seven days, with the virus stabilising in nearly all 50 US states.

Compared to last month, Covid infections are down 44 per cent, according to analysis by ABC7 New York. It suggests that the worst of the Delta variant of Covid is behind the US.

Dr Fauci said on Sunday that he expected that Covid cases, hospitalisations and death to stabilise as vaccines and booster shots are delivered to more Americans.

That includes children aged 12 and above, and soon those aged five and above, after Pfizer last week filed with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of its vaccines for younger children.

According to The New York Times, the number of children aged 12-15 who have been fully vaccinated is around 6.7m.

The number of adults aged 18 and above, meanwhile, is more than 175m, or 67.8 per cent of the whole population, CDC figures show.

Dr Fauci said: “Fortunately, right now, over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a turnaround in the slope in going down in both cases and hospitalisations.”

Explaining that falling Covid deaths always follow infections, Dr Fauci continued by saying that he “strongly suspect[s] that you’re going to start seeing the deaths go down similar to the hospitalisations”.

“How quickly they go down and how thoroughly they go down is going to depend a lot on a number of circumstances,” he added, “[and that] will be influenced by things like the colder weather, people doing things indoors, how well they go by the [CDC] guidelines.”

Dr Fauci also told families who are fully vaccinated that it was safe to take part in Halloween at the end of the month, and that it was “a good time to reflect on why it’s important to get vaccinated”.

The remarks follow the US passing another milestone last week, with more than 700,000 deaths from Covid reported since the start of the pandemic.

The Biden administration, meanwhile, has faced criticism for a slower than expected vaccination campaign, with the US falling behind other countries.

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