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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 22: Dr. Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, participates in the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on April 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control, has said that a potential second wave of coronavirus later this year could flare up again and coincide with flu season. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Dr. Anthony Fauci isn’t ready to say the nation has turned the corner on the coronavirus pandemic, despite about 2.5 million Americans getting vaccinated each day.

The government’s top infectious disease expert says he often gets asked that question. His response: “We are at the corner. Whether we or not we are going to be turning the corner remains to be seen.”

At the White House coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, Fauci says the main challenge remains a stubbornly high level of new daily cases in the country. It’s hovering around an average of 55,000 and up slightly in recent days. While that is clearly much better than the 250,000 daily cases at the peak of the winter wave, it’s uncomfortably close to levels seen during the COVID wave of last summer.

“When you are at that level, I don’t think you can declare victory and say you have turned the corner,” Fauci adds.

On the plus side, along with the growing level of vaccinations, Fauci is underscoring recent studies that show negligible rates of coronavirus infection among fully vaccinated people. There’s also been a significant drop in the number of people 65 and older going to the emergency room with COVID-19. That’s the age group most vulnerable to the disease.