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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Nov. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon, File)

Dr. Anthony Fauci directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden and also leads a lab studying the immune system. He has served in federal government for more than five decades.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, arrives to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Stefani Reynolds / Pool / Getty Images)

At 81, Dr. Anthony Fauci has served more than five decades under seven presidents, advising every American president since Ronald Reagan.

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Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine an update on the ongoing Federal response to COVID-19, June 16, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The new variants, labeled BA.4 and BA.5, are offshoots of the omicron strain that has been responsible for nearly all of the virus spread in the U.S. and are even more contagious than their predecessors.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Greg Nash / Pool via AP)

Dr. Anthony Fauci has given an upbeat assessment of the current state of the coronavirus in the United States, saying the country is “out of the pandemic phase” when it comes to new infections, hospitalizations and deaths, but that it appears to be making a transition to COVID-19 becoming an endemic disease — occurring regularly in certain areas.

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(WTTW News)

The White House has told CNN that federal officials are “thinking about” what comes next, after the United States transitions out of the current COVID-19 emergency and into a greater state of normalcy – but officials still have not released a plan for that transition.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh, File)

Reports from South Africa, where it emerged and is becoming the dominant strain, suggest that hospitalization rates have not increased alarmingly.

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A couple stands outside the security control section inside a terminal of the Barcelona Airport, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (AP Photo / Joan Mateu Parra)

The infected person was identified as a traveler who had returned from South Africa on Nov. 22, developed mild symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19 Monday.

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President Joe Biden speaks as he announces that he is nominating Jerome Powell for a second four-year term as Federal Reserve chair, during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington, Nov. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Speaking Monday at the White House, Biden said it was inevitable that the new variant would reach the U.S., but he also said the country has the tools necessary to protect Americans — particularly the approved vaccines and booster shots.

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This image released by National Geographic shows Dr. Anthony Fauci at the NIH in Bethesda, Md., during the filming of the documentary “Fauci.” (Visko Hatfield / National Geographic via AP)

The documentary is an intimate portrait of a longtime public servant whose notoriety has risen dramatically — and with that, brought heaps of far-right scorn on the veteran of seven White House administrations.

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Nurse Jennifer Ulloa administers a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, July 27, 2021, at the county’s vaccination clinic in Whispering Pines, Calif. (Elias Funez / The Union via AP)

The nation’s top infectious disease expert warned Sunday that more “pain and suffering” is on the horizon as COVID-19 cases climb again and officials plead with unvaccinated Americans to get their shots.

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Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci responds to accusations by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., as he testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)

The United States is in an “unnecessary predicament” of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent delta variant, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert said Sunday. 

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In this May 11, 2021 file photo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing to examine an update from Federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19, on Capitol Hill  (Jim Lo Scalzo / Pool via AP, File)

Pfizer says it plans to meet with top U.S. health officials Monday to discuss the drugmaker’s request for federal authorization of a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser acknowledged that “it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely” that booster shots will be needed.

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In this June 18, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden speaks about COVID-19 vaccination shots, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to get younger Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 as concerns grow about the spread of a new variant that threatens to set the country back in the months ahead.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing to examine an update from Federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19, Tuesday, May 11, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo / Pool via AP)

The immunologist who leads the COVID-19 response in the United States said Sunday that “the undeniable effects of racism” have led to unacceptable health disparities that especially hurt African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans during the pandemic.

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Priscilla Medina poses for a portrait in her home in Queens in New York on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. (AP Photo / Marshall Ritzel)

While vaccines are helping to curb the pandemic, easier and better treatments are needed, especially as virus variants spread. 

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In this March 6, 2021, file photo, boxes stand next vials of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the pharmacy of National Jewish Hospital for distribution in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski, File)

The United States will likely move to resume Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine this coming week, possibly with restrictions or broader warnings after reports of some very rare blood clot cases, the government’s top infectious diseases expert said Sunday.