Anthony Fauci to hold final briefing at White House

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases NIH Anthony Fauci speaks at the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, January 21, 2021.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Dr. Anthony Fauci is expected to give what is expected to be his final public briefing on the Covid-19 pandemic on Tuesday as the White House’s chief medical adviser.

Earlier this year, Fauci announced he would step down in December after being the public face of the US response to the coronavirus pandemic for more than two years.

He will provide an update along with Dr. Ashish Jha, head of the White House Covid task force. They are expected to encourage people to get their Covid and flu shots as soon as possible.

Public health officials have repeatedly warned that the US is likely to face another wave of Covid this winter as people travel and gather for the holidays.

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New boosters targeting the BA.5 omicron variant were quickly deployed to prevent a significant surge. But only about 11% of those who are eligible have received the vaccine.

The US is already facing a tough flu season with hospitalizations hitting a ten-year high.

And respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is also much more likely to hospitalize children than in pre-pandemic seasons.

Hospitals and emergency rooms are increasingly being taxed by people seeking treatment for respiratory conditions.

Children’s hospitals last week urged the Biden administration to declare a public health emergency to allow more flexibility to deal with the influx of patients.

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