Fauci gets it right on measuring COVID — then undermines new CDC quarantine advice

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Welcome to the club, Dr. Tony Fauci.

For months, The Post has argued that the number of daily COVID cases has become largely “irrelevant,” since so many cases are mild or totally asymptomatic — and now the nation’s most-camera-eager expert finally agrees.

“You have a virus that looks like it might be less severe” based on data from South Africa, the United Kingdom and America, Fauci noted over the weekend. So the thing to watch is hospitalizations.

The key question, he said, is: “Are we getting protected by the vaccines from severe disease leading to hospitalization?” The answer is overwhelmingly yes.

While each day may be bringing 500,000 new cases, that’s with less than 13,000 new COVID hospitalizations. Deaths are running at about 1,600 a day — still troubling, but nowhere near last winter’s daily 4,400.

And remember: Even before Omicron struck, unvaxxed Americans were about 12 times more likely than the vaxxed to die from COVID.

The current hysteria about the surge in cases is (yet again) taking a heavy toll on the economy, government services and social life, with shortages of teachers, cops, EMS workers, airline staff and so on. Chicago’s teachers union is threatening a walk-out over in-person learning.

All the new chaos got the CDC last week to roll back its 10-day isolation requirement to just five days, but Fauci is now questioning that decision and suggesting a negative test result as another condition for ending isolation. Hah! The “pushback” he cited as reason to add that hurdle (when it’s near-impossible to get tested) was plainly from Team Biden’s labor-union allies.

We’ll say it again: The worst of the pandemic is behind us. Focusing on hospitalizations and deaths (and on who is vaccinated), rather than cases, makes that crystal clear. Quit adding new COVID requirements and restrictions. It’s time move on.

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