Fauci tests positive for COVID-19

(The Hill) – Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday but has “mild symptoms,” the National Institutes of Health said.

“He is fully vaccinated and has been vaccinated twice,” the agency said. “He is currently experiencing mild symptoms. Dr Fauci will self-isolate and continue to work from home. He has not recently been in close contact with President Biden or other senior government officials.

Fauci has been the face of the government’s response to COVID-19 for more than two years and previously avoided testing positive for the virus. But he is the latest in a long line of high-profile cases among lawmakers and government officials in Washington, D.C.

Biden is one of the few senior government officials so far to avoid getting it, despite the White House acknowledging he could.

Although Fauci is 81, the cases are significantly less of a concern now than they were at the start of the pandemic, before vaccines and boosters became available, although some risk remains.

Pfizer treatment pills called Paxlovid also reduce the risk for high-risk people who test positive.

Fauci’s positive case illustrates how widespread infections have become, with many people testing positive at least once. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive for the second time in less than a month this week.

New omicron subvariants have shown increased infectivity and the ability to evade vaccines to some degree, so it is far from complete protection against infection. Vaccines and boosters still provide valuable protection against serious diseases, which many experts consider the most crucial.

The White House has argued that tools like boosters and Paxlovid mean the country is in a new era of the virus where cases have been disadvantaged to some degree.

“Dr. Fauci will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 guidelines and medical advice from his physician and return to the NIH when he tests negative,” the NIH said.

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