Congresswoman Maloney Asks Health Experts for Next Steps to End the COVID-19 Pandemic
WASHINGTON, DC — At today’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing entitled “Reaching the Light at the End of the Tunnel: A Science-Driven Approach to Swiftly and Safely Ending the Pandemic,” Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, asked health experts what steps the country needs to take in order to end the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible.
During her exchange with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health and President Biden’s chief medical adviser, Rep. Maloney asked, “When do you think the designation of a pandemic will be changed, and no longer considered a pandemic?”
In response to the Congresswoman, Dr. Fauci said, “Well, there are multiple definitions of pandemic. The one that’s most commonly used is an outbreak of a disease, of infectious disease, that’s highly transmissible and involves multiple regions of the world simultaneously. You can have an outbreak in one place, like right now they’re having a mini epidemic of Ebola in countries in Africa. That’s not a pandemic by any means, because it’s no place else. But if you look at a map of the world, you have now over one-hundred twenty countries that have this [COVID-19] disease. So ‘pan’ means all. When you get it down to the point where it’s restricted maybe to very few places, and you have countries, hopefully the United States, hopefully a lot of other countries in the world are free of this, then it’s no longer a pandemic.”
Congresswoman Maloney continued, saying, “And what are the key steps we have to take to make that happen faster, hopefully, besides vaccinations?”
Dr. Fauci responded, “Well there are a couple of things we can do. One is, until you get people fully vaccinated, and get it under control, where it is no longer a threat, it’s the public health measures that we talk about almost every single day. The wearing of masks, the physical distancing, the avoiding congregate settings, the washing of hands. When the vaccine protection takes over, then you could have a gradual diminution of those types of guideline restrictions.”
You can watch the full exchange here.