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Anthony Fauci to give final White House briefing

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NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci addresses the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, January 21, 2021.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday will give what is expected to be his last public briefing on the Covid-19 pandemic as the White House chief medical advisor.

Fauci announced earlier this year that he will step down in December after serving as the public face of the United States’ coronavirus pandemic response for more than two years.

He will give an update alongside Dr. Ashish Jha, head of the White House Covid task force. They are expected to encourage people to get their Covid boosters and flu shots as soon as possible.

Public health officials have repeatedly warned that the U.S. will likely face another wave of Covid this winter as people travel and gather for the holidays.

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The new boosters, which target the variant omicron BA.5, were quickly rolled out in an effort to head off a major surge. But only about 11% of those people eligible have received their shot so far.

The U.S. is already facing a severe flu season, with hospitalizations at a decade high.

And respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is hospitalizing children at a much higher rate than in pre-pandemic seasons.

Hospitals and emergency departments are increasingly taxed by people seeking treatment for respiratory illnesses.

Children’s hospitals last week called on the Biden administration to declare a public health emergency to provide more flexibility to address the surge of patients.

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