It would be premature to lift them for unvaccinated people, he means. He’s not saying the vaccinated should keep taking precautions.
No one’s going to listen to him about this, but for what it’s worth, it’s a rare-ish case of him being consistent. He’s always said 10,000 cases per day nationally is his target for when all restrictions can start being lifted. We’re not there yet.
But we’re getting closer.
“We don’t want to declare victory prematurely because we still have a ways to go,” Fauci told the Guardian in an interview. “But the more and more people that can get vaccinated, as a community, the community will be safer and safer.”…
“We cannot abandon public health measures when you still have a degree of viral activity in the broad community in the United States,” Fauci said. “Although we’re down to less than 30,000 infections per day that’s still a lot of infections per day.”
The national death rate among the unvaccinated population is roughly the same as it was in late March, according to a Washington Post data analysis published this month.
He should focus less on case counts and more on vaccination rates. If you want to incentivize holdouts to get their shots, tell them that all restrictions in their county will be lifted once, say, 60 percent have had their first dose. Tying restrictions to the number of cases encourages the unvaccinated to keep free-riding on the rest of the population. After all, cases might keep dropping due to seasonal effects and a gradually growing amount of natural immunity whether or not any more holdouts choose to get immunized.