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Dr. Anthony Fauci says Americans should prepare for a new round of COVID restrictions.

Asked in an interview with the BBC Sunday if a new infectious COVID-19 variant could lead to future lockdowns and mask mandates, Fauci was non-committal in his response.

“I don’t want to use the word ‘lockdowns.’ That has a charged element to it. But, I believe that we must keep our eye on the pattern of what we’re seeing with infections,” he said.

“Having said that, we need to be prepared for the possibility that we would have another variant that would come along,” Fauci added. “And then, if things change and we do get a variant that does give us an uptick in cases and hospitalization, we should be prepared and flexible enough to pivot toward going back – at least temporarily – to a more rigid type of restrictions, such as requiring masks indoor.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the highly contagious BA.2 omicron sub-variant that is spreading across the globe currently makes up 54.9% of new COVID cases.

Last week, however, Fauci said he does not expect another major COVID-19 surge.

“I don’t really see, unless something changes dramatically, that there would be a major surge,” Fauci said at a Washington Post event.

Fauci also told the BBC he is hesitant to make any disparaging remarks regarding China’s attempts to hinder the investigation into the origins of the Coronavirus.

WIBC host Rob Kendall has more highlights from Fauci’s interview with the BBC in the clip below.