The Corner

Politics & Policy

We’re Still Not Yet at Fauci’s Threshold for Easing Pandemic Restrictions

The vast majority of America’s coronavirus restrictions have been withdrawn or repealed. Mask mandates are largely lifted. As of June 7, just one percent of the country’s schools were fully remote. Almost all businesses are open — at least, the ones that survived the pandemic — and capacity limits for businesses and buildings are either much higher or repealed entirely. In many corners of the country, the joys of summer are here, and the pandemic is in life’s rear view mirror.

It’s easy to forget that a few months ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci thought conditions like the ones we’re enjoying now wouldn’t quite be good enough to justify easing restrictions. Back in March, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the U.S. shouldn’t ease restrictions in place to prevent COVID-19 before the number of new coronavirus cases falls below 10,000 daily.

The U.S. is almost, but not quite, at Fauci’s preferred threshold.

The U.S. had 7,897 new cases reported on June 14, and 7,833 new cases on June 14. (The number of new cases usually dips after weekend days.) The seven-day daily average is now 11,432, just above Fauci’s threshold.

A bit more than 65 percent of all Americans age 18 and above have received at least one shot of the vaccine; 87 percent of America’s seniors have received at least one shot. The U.S. has administered more than 317 million shots so far.


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