On Friday (May 13), Fauci clarified his stance on the pandemic and said it is still possible for transmissions and hospitalizations to reach crisis levels similar to 2020 and 2021. The nation's leading infectious disease specialist pointed out that the potential appearance of a new aggressive variant would disproportionately impact Black people.
Fauci told The Root, “The rate of hospitalization and the death rate among 100,000 population is clearly higher greater in brown and Black populations in the United States compared to the general population and compared to whites.”
He continued, “So for the country as a whole, the pandemic has been extremely tragic, but for Black people, they’ve suffered disproportionately.”
Diabetes and high blood pressure prevalently found in Black Americans are underlying risk factors that make the community more susceptible to COVID-19, Fauci said.
The infectious disease specialist said his previous comment that the nation was "out of the pandemic phase" sent the wrong message and does not hold true today. In the past few weeks, the U.S. has been reaching over 100,000 cases daily, and the number of hospitalizations is rapidly increasing.
Fauci said of his April 26 comment, “I clarified that very, very quickly because it was taken a bit out of context.” He added, “We’re not out of the woods yet by any means.”
As the country recently hit 1 million COVID deaths, Fauci said he's concerned about continued vaccine hesitancy and relaxed restrictions.