Rise in new Covid cases worrying but not surprising, says Dr Fauci

Congress adjourned for a two-week recess last week without voting on the package, which would provide more funding for treatments, tests and vaccines.

“We need this Covid funding,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “And it’s really a huge disappointment to us that Congress has gone two weeks without passing this into law.”

A small wave of coronavirus infections has swept through the halls of Washington over the past week. Dozens of people have tested positive, including several administration officials and members of Congress, after attending the Gridiron Club and Foundation’s annual dinner on April 2.

President Biden did not attend the dinner, but his sister, who did, tested positive; Mr Biden appeared, without a mask, at several public events last week, raising concerns about whether he could have contracted the virus.

On Sunday, Dr. Fauci defended the procedures put in place to protect the president.

“He’s fully vaccinated,” Dr. Fauci said. “He’s double-boosted, and most of the time people who come near him have to be tested. So we think the protocol is a reasonable protocol.

Dr Fauci stressed that the severity of coronavirus infections should not be ignored and could still lead to significant illness and a long duration of Covid, even if they do not lead to hospitalization. But, he said, people have to make their own decisions about what risks they are willing to take.

“It’s not going to be eradicated, and it’s not going to be eliminated,” he said. “And what’s going to happen is we’re going to see that each individual will have to calculate the level of risk they want to take by going to indoor dinners and going to functions.”

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