Despite the fact that COVID-19 cases are on the rise, most people don’t believe that the country will revert to previous prevention measures such as mask mandates.
That includes Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former chief medical adviser to the Biden administration who was a very prominent figure during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that from the middle of August through the end of the month, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 increased by 16%. That upward trend actually started back in July, after hospitalization rates for this summer were the lowest they’ve been since the pandemic started.
Many health experts believe that cases actually could be rising even more than that, though, since many cases aren’t reported any more now that data collection isn’t the same as it was during the height of the pandemic.
Andrew Pekosz, a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health professor of immunology, commented:
“Everything is much more gray and hazy now because we no longer have a good sense of how many cases are occurring right now in the U.S. It’s difficult to put those hospitalization and death numbers in context.
“Are we seeing a 10% increase in hospitalizations but a 100% increase in cases? That’s where it becomes really sort of difficult to make those population estimates.”
Even with those concerns present, Fauci said he believes that the risk for a significant surge of COVID-19 cases as well as hospitalizations remains low. While appearing on the “This Week” program on ABC over the weekend, Fauci cited widespread immunity because of a combination of previous infections and vaccinations.
As he explained:
“The chances of this being an overwhelming rush of cases or hospitalization, is probably low. So, I think none of us in the public health field are predicting that this is going to be a tsunami of hospitalizations and deaths the way we saw a year or more ago.”
Fauci predicted that if a huge surge of new infections and hospitalizations were to occur, he believes federal agencies might issue some recommendations. That being said, he doesn’t believe any federal mask mandate would be issued, or would even be necessary.
“I can see that if we get a significant uptick in cases that you may see the recommendation that masks be used on the certain circumstances and indoor crowded settings. But, I don’t see there’d be certainly not federal mandates. I would be extremely surprised if we would see that.”
Just last week, Fauci said that he would be concerned that many people wouldn’t follow guidelines that the CDC issued, even if the agency recommends to mask once again.
“I would hope that if we get to the point that the volume of cases is such and organizations like the CDC recommends – CDC does not mandate anything – recommends that people wear masks, I would hope that people abide by that recommendation and take into account the risks to themselves and their families.”