Fauci: COVID-19 still poses serious threat

In an exclusive interview with NHK, the White House's former top infectious disease specialist says the world should not let its guard down.

Former White House Chief Medical Advisor Anthony Fauci says, "Even though we're much better off now than we were a year or two ago, we still have a very high, relatively speaking, number of infections, number of hospitalizations and number of deaths."

It has been almost three years since the WHO declared COVID a "public health emergency of international concern."

But Fauci says the pandemic is far from over. He says infections are skyrocketing in China because the country did not use its long "zero-COVID" lockdowns to prepare for reopening.

Fauci notes Beijing's abrupt loosening of restrictions last month could prove costly, saying "I'm very concerned that China will suffer a very great burden of disease and death."

Fauci says governments need to be diligent about getting their citizens vaccinated with the latest boosters.

He adds that the only way to meet the "perpetual challenge" of new diseases... is to be "perpetually prepared."