The “full-blown pandemic phase of COVID-19” might be nearing an end, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

What’s happening: Fauci told The Financial Times that the COVID-19 pandemic’s pandemic phase is nearing its end and that normality may be around the corner.

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What he said: “As we get out of the full-blown pandemic phase of COVID-19, which we are certainly heading out of, these decisions will increasingly be made on a local level rather than centrally decided or mandated,” Fauci told The Financial Times.

  • “There will also be more people making their own decisions on how they want to deal with the virus.”
  • Fauci said he hoped COVID-19 restrictions would end soon and that it would likely happen in 2022.
  • However, he said local health departments should introduce health restrictions if cases begin to climb.

Flashback: Fauci, the White House medical adviser on the novel coronavirus, told The Washington Post that the U.S. is “on the road to approaching normality.”

  • His comments come as a wave of blue states — Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Oregon and New York — have started to lift mask mandates, as I reported for the Deseret News.

Yes, but: “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.”