The United States is “on the road to approaching normality,” according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser on the novel coronavirus.

What’s happening: States across the U.S. are ending mask mandates and ending COVID-19 restrictions, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Oregon and New York — all blue states — said that they would be dropping mask mandates in the coming weeks, signaling a shift in COVID-19 policy.
Dr. Fauci reveals his worst-case scenario for 2022 and it involves a new variant
Dr. Fauci issues new warning over the omicron variant
Dr. Fauci says a fourth COVID-19 shot is possible — but he’s not sure yet

Fauci’s thoughts: Fauci told The Washington Post that the U.S. is currently “on the road to approaching normality.”

  • “Everything I am saying is based on a big caveat,” Fauci told The Washington Post. “We must be prepared for the eventuality that we might get a completely different variant that breaks through all of the protection that you get from prior infection.”

Yes, but: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, said an interview with Reuters that we shouldn’t be so quick to drop mandates.

  • “Now is not the moment,” she said.
  • “I know people are interested in taking masks off. I too am interested. That would be one marker that we have much of the pandemic behind us,” Walenksy told Reuters. “Right now our CDC guidance has not changed. … We continue to endorse universal masking in schools.”

The bottom line: Experts are still debating — and apparently unsure — about when to end mask requirements across the country.