Fauci says US won't 'eradicate' COVID-19, despite Biden pledge to 'shut down the virus'
Walensky, Fauci exhibit mixed mask messaging at Senate hearing
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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci repeated his claim that the United States will not "eradicate" the coronavirus, despite President Biden's campaign pledge to "shut down the virus."
On Wednesday, Fauci said that "we're not going to eradicate [the coronavirus]."
"So, if we’re going to look ahead at what happens when this peaks and it ultimately goes down — as I’ve said on previous pressers here from the White House: that we’re not going to eradicate this; we’ve only done that with smallpox," Fauci said.
FAUCI: REPORTS OF MILDER COVID VARIANT SHOULDN'T BE TAKEN AS SIGNAL US CAN LESSEN RESTRICTIONS
Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Chief Medical Advisor and Director of the NIAID, gives and opening statement during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the federal response to COVID-19 and new emerging variants on Jan. 11, 2022 at Capitol Hill in Washington. (Photo by Greg Nash/pool/AFP via Getty Images) (Greg Nash/pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Fauci added that the coronavirus will be controlled, adding that elimination of a virus "only happens with massive vaccination programs like we did with measles and with vaccines."
During his presidential campaign, then-candidate Biden told Americans repeatedly that he would "shut down the virus."
"I’m not going to shut down the economy, I'm going to shut down the virus," President Biden said during a 2020 campaign event.
President Biden doubled down on his campaign promise during a Jan. 25, 2021 event, stating that he would "shut down the virus," but added it would take a long period of time.
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President Joe Biden delivers an update on the COVID-19 response and vaccination program, in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
When Fox News' Peter Doocy asked Jen Psaki about the campaign promise on Dec. 1, 2021, Psaki said "We’re working on it, Peter."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been over 62.5 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began in early 2020, along with over 840,000 deaths.
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Chief Medical Advisor to the president Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during the daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 1, 2021. (Photo by Mandel Ngan/ AFP via Getty Images) ((Photo by Mandel Ngan/ AFP via Getty Images) )
During a press conference on Jan. 5, Fauci said that reports of the omicron variant resulting in a milder disease should not be taken as a sign that health restrictions and recommendations should be pulled back.
"Don't take this as a signal that we can pull back from the recommendations that you just heard from Dr. [Rochelle] Walensky – about the need for vaccination, for boostering, for wearing masks and all the other CDC recommendations," Fauci said.