EAST LANSING, Mich. — A key national figure in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic was in Michigan on Friday around the same time the World Health Organization, or WHO, made a major announcement on the viral illness.
WHO declared COVID-19 is no longer a global emergency as cases have decreased in the last year.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, an advisor to Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden, was in Michigan giving a commencement speech for Michigan State University doctoral grads at the time.
Fauci warned about the normalization and acceptance of untruths that has grown during the pandemic, which left at least 7 million people dead and impacted lives of billions across the globe.
People should be careful, Fauci said, as another variant could form.
“We don’t want to confuse it with the fact that the pandemic is completely over – what is over is the emergency nature of it. And I think that’s what people get confused at. It doesn’t mean we should stop getting vaccinated, it doesn’t mean under certain circumstances we should stop wearing masks," Fauci said.
MSU recognized Fauci by giving him an honorary doctorate degree.
The 82-year-old retired last year from his role as presidential advisor and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Following WHO's announcement Friday, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention submitted her resignation, saying the waning of the COVID-19 pandemic was a good time to make a transition.