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Moderna CEO sees end of COVID-19 pandemic coming

Posted February. 18, 2022 07:50,   

Updated February. 18, 2022 07:50


U.S. vaccine provider Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel said that the COVID-19 pandemic is reaching the final stages. Asked by CNBC on Wednesday (local time) if the pandemic is in the final stages, he replied, “I think that is a reasonable scenario.”

“There’s an 80% chance that as omicron evolves or SarsCov-2 virus evolves, we are going to see less and less virulent viruses,” Bancel said. “There is another “20% scenario where we see a next mutation, which is more virulent than omicron. I think we got lucky as a world that omicron was not very virulent, but still we are seeing thousands of people dying every day around the planet because of omicron.” Not going extinct on the planet, this virus will stay forever with humans just as flu viruses, according to him.

The United States is coming nearer to normal with the number of COVID-19 patients sharply decreasing.

Based on statistics collected independently by The New York Times, the daily average of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the United States as of Wednesday was 124,324, down by 68 percent over the last two weeks. The number of inpatients and deaths during the same period also went down by 38 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

As the spread of the coronavirus has recently been held back, many state governments and businesses across the United States have ended indoor masking requirements. The federal government is currently working to review less regulation on mask wearing as well. NBC reported on Wednesday that the Centers for Disease Control will ease mask wearing guidelines next week at the earliest.

Director Anthony S. Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday that the Unites States is faced with a difficult decision to strike the right balance between its efforts to protect its citizens from the virus and to handle three years’ fatigue amid the long-lasting pandemic. “You don't want to be reckless and throw everything aside, but you've got to start inching towards that,” he said.

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com