Despite the nation reporting a 42 percent drop in COVID-19 cases after the Omicron variant reached its peak last month, NIAID director and the Biden administration's chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is still warning against removing mask mandates from schools too soon.
"It's understandable why people want to take masks off the kids. But, right now, given the level of activity that we have, it is risky," Fauci told CNN on Thursday.
"Now we could get lucky, cause the trajectory right now is going way down and it very well may be that if you take masks off of kids in the next week or so, it's going to keep going down. But you have to be careful," Fauci added.
In recent weeks, the push by parents and others for schools to drop their mask mandates has crescendoed, with many students across the country staging walkouts over the remaining COVID-19 policies.
Fauci's comments come after a number of Democratic-led states have announced that they would soon be dropping their school mask mandates, including Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Nevada, and Oregon.
While some states like New York and California have moved to drop some of their COVID-19 restrictions, school mask mandates remain in place.
These actions come as the nation recorded a 42 percent drop in COVID-19 cases over the last week, with the US now averaging 128,989 cases per day, according to the Daily Mail. The drop follows the skyrocketing cases that occurred back in January, as the quick-spreading Omicron variant traveled across the country, peaking at around 800,000 cases per day.
Fauci's comments come just a day after he told Reuters that it was time to start getting country back to normal, despite the remaining COVID-19 concerns.
"There is no perfect solution to this," said Fauci. "The fact that the world and the United States and particularly certain parts of the United States are just up to here with COVID - they just really need to somehow get their life back," he said.
"You don't want to be reckless and throw everything aside, but you've got to start inching towards that," Fauci added.
Fauci admitted that these COVID-19 policies have had a negative effect of children in schools, but noted that a balancing act must be obtained.
"Is the impact on mental health, is the impact on development of kids, is the impact on schools - is that balanced against trying to be totally pristine and protecting against infection? I don't have the right answer to that," he said.