Story at a glance
- Gates made his prediction during an online Q&A session with Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh.
- The U.S. recorded a record 1.5 million new COVID-19 cases on Monday along with a new high mark for virus-related hospitalizations.
- Gates added on Wednesday the emergence of another more transmissive variant is not likely.
Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates expects COVID-19 to be treated more like a seasonal flu once the world emerges from the current wave brought about by the omicron variant.
“As countries experience their Omicron wave health systems will be challenged. Most of the severe cases will be unvaccinated people,” Gates wrote on Twitter during a Q&A session with Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh. “Once Omicron goes through a country then the rest of the year should see far fewer cases so Covid can be treated more like seasonal flu.”
The U.S. recorded a record 1.5 million new COVID-19 cases on Monday along with a new high mark for virus-related hospitalizations. Yet White House medical Adviser Anthony Fauci has said he believes the latest surge will peak by the end of January.
Fauci told J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, on Tuesday that omicron “ultimately find just about everybody.” However, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases maintained those who have received vaccines and boosters should fare “reasonably well.”
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows approximately 62.7 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated while 37 percent have received a booster dose.
Meanwhile, Gates added on Wednesday the emergence of another more transmissive variant is “not likely” but admitted “we’ve been surprised a lot during this pandemic.”
“Omicron will create a lot of immunity at least for the next year, Gates continued, noting the world “may have to take yearly shots for Covid for some time.”
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