HealthDay News — Anthony Fauci, MD, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, has tested positive for COVID-19, the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announced Wednesday.
The 81-year-old director of NIAID tested positive on a rapid antigen test and has mild symptoms, the agency said in a statement. It said he is fully vaccinated and has received 2 booster shots. Fauci will isolate and continue to work from home until he tests negative. He has not been in close contact with President Joe Biden or other senior government officials, the NIAID said. This is the first time Fauci has tested positive, The New York Times reported.
Fauci and other leading federal health officials were scheduled to appear Thursday before the Senate Health Committee to outline the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts were made for Fauci to testify remotely, an official told The Times.
More than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases are being reported each day in the United States, a Times database shows, but the actual number is likely higher because at-home rapid test results are not tallied by any government agency, experts added.
Case numbers are falling in the Northeast and Midwest, but cases and hospitalizations are rising in the West and South. Still, The Times database shows fewer than 350 deaths being reported each day, far below the more than 2600 a day at the peak of the omicron surge.