Fauci: ‘No Magic Number’ of Cases for Pandemic to End, ‘Don’t Know’ Number for Decision Metrics ‘Yet’

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Ian Hanchett

During an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci responded to a question on what the threshold of cases that would cause him to determine the coronavirus pandemic has passed is by saying that “there’s no magic number” and that metrics for making decisions will look more at the rates of severe disease and hospitalizations over infection rates, but “We don’t know what that number is yet.”

Host Linsey Davis asked, “[O]ur country, right now, at least, is still seeing about 147,000 new cases of COVID per day. But what would that threshold be in the future for you to say, okay, the pandemic has passed?”

Fauci responded, “You know, there’s no magic number. But you want is to make sure the trajectory keeps going down and down and down. And I think the important issue, and that relates to one of the questions you asked before about the CDC considering giving more precise metrics for decisionmaking, that concentrating more on what the rate of severe disease and hospitalization is will determine that. We don’t know what that number is yet. But that will be much more of a determinant than the rate of infection.”