Fauci says US unlikely to see surge from new COVID-19 variant
Chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that he does not think the U.S. will see another surge in COVID-19 cases due to the spread of a new omicron variant, even though cases are rising in Europe and Asia due to the strain.
Fauci said while appearing on ABC’s “This Week” that the new omicron strain is about 50 to 60 percent more transmissible than the first omicron strain, adding that it could take over as the dominant strain in the U.S.
However, he noted that the strain does not appear to cause more severe illness or evade immune responses from vaccination or prior infection.
“Hopefully, we won’t see a surge. I don’t think we will. The easiest way to prevent that is to continue to get people vaccinated. And for those who have been vaccinated, to continue to get them boosted, so that’s really where we stand right now,” said Fauci, though he acknowledged the U.S. will likely see an “uptick” in cases.
Host George Stephanopoulos asked if there was any reason to reverse the relaxation of pandemic restrictions that has taken place in the past month.
“I don’t think so, George, not right now. I don’t see us going back into any more really very restrict kinds of restrictions. But you always have to have the flexibility,” Fauci said.
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