Anthony Fauci says early reports encouraging about omicron variant
Image via AP.

Anthony Fauci
“Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it.”

U.S. health officials said Sunday that while the omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading throughout the country, early indications suggest it may be less dangerous than delta, which continues to drive a surge of hospitalizations.

President Joe Biden’s chief medial adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that scientists need more information before drawing conclusion’s about omicron’s severity.

Reports from South Africa, where it emerged and is becoming the dominant strain, suggest that hospitalization rates have not increased alarmingly.

“Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it,” Fauci said. “But we have really got to be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe or it really doesn’t cause any severe illness, comparable to delta.”

Fauci said the Biden administration is considering lifting travel restrictions against noncitizens entering the United States from several African countries. They were imposed as the omicron variant exploded in the region, but U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has blasted such measures as “travel apartheid.”

“Hopefully we’ll be able to lift that ban in a quite reasonable period of time,” Fauci said. “We all feel very badly about the hardship that has been put on not only on South Africa but the other African countries.”

Omicron had been detected in about a third of U.S. states by Sunday, including in the Northeast, the South, the Great Plains and the West Coast. Wisconsin and Missouri were among the latest states to confirm cases.

But delta remains the dominant variant, making up more than 99% of cases and driving a surge of hospitalizations in the north. National Guard teams have been sent to help overwhelmed hospitals in western New York, and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring any hospitals facing limited patient capacity to reduce scheduled procedures that are not urgent.

U.S. officials continued urging people to get vaccinated and to receive booster shots, as well as take precautions such as wearing masks when among strangers indoors, saying anything that helps protect against delta will also help protect against other variants.

Even if omicron proves less dangerous than delta, it remains problematic, World Health Organization epidemiologist Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove told CBS’ “Face The Nation.”

“Even if we have a large number of cases that are mild, some of those individuals will need hospitalizations,” she said. “They will need to go into ICU and some people will die. … We don’t want to see that happen on top of an already difficult situation with delta circulating globally.”

Two years into the outbreak, COVID-19 has killed over 780,000 Americans, and deaths are running at about 860 per day.

More than 6,600 new hospital admissions are being reported daily, according to tracking data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. have dropped by about half since the delta peak in August and September, but at more than 86,000 new infections per day, the numbers are still high, especially heading into the holidays, when people travel and gather with family.


Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Tupac

    December 5, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    No one should listen to the puppy murdering Dr. Anthony Fauci. He has done nothing to make the American healthy. He has ruined America all in the name of Covid we which has a 95 percent recovery rate.

    • Alex

      December 5, 2021 at 5:24 pm


      Pure nonsense from the right wing BS and lie department.

      He hasn’t lied, he hasn’t mislead, he hasn’t distracted from the truth once like you just did.

  • Alex

    December 5, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    Republicans hate Fauci because he stood right next to Trump, told the truth America needed to hear (showing Trump to be an ignorant know nothing and conman in the process) and became so wildly popular Trump couldn’t fire him.

    The power of facts, evidence, experience, and thoughtful expertise will always overcome the Trump’s of the world.

    • PeterH

      December 5, 2021 at 6:28 pm

      Trumpsters blindly worship DeSantis and Trump.

      • Alex

        December 5, 2021 at 6:46 pm

        The evidence is all around them, and is easy/almost free to see with the power of the internet.

        But they refuse to look.

        Willful blindness.

  • PeterH

    December 5, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    Ultimately both the delta and omicron variants will target the unvaccinated. Healthy vaccinated folks may or may not get mildly ill.

    • Impeach Biden

      December 6, 2021 at 6:06 am

      Too bad those variants don’t target you and Alex.

      • Tom

        December 7, 2021 at 8:36 am

        Impeach Biden needs to become a good Christian.

Comments are closed.


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