Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that “just about everybody” will be infected with the Omicron variant whether they are vaccinated or not.
“Omicron, with its extraordinary unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody. Those who have been vaccinated … and boosted would get exposed. Some, maybe a lot of them, will get infected but will very likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well in the sense of not having hospitalization and death,” Fauci told the Center for Strategic International Studies.
Omicron will infect “just about everybody,” Fauci says https://t.co/sI2riU7mJ0
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 12, 2022
Top health officials including Dr. Anthony Fauci defended the administration's response to the unrelenting pandemic as daily U.S. COVID-19 cases reached a new high, largely fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant pic.twitter.com/qqGuMsLyaC
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 12, 2022
According to the CDC, Omicron currently makes up 98.3% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. as the nation hit a record number of hospitalizations on Tuesday with 145,900 and has averaged 754,200 in the past two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The alarming figure has tripled last winter’s peak average of 251,987.
“I think it’s hard to process what’s actually happening right now, which is: Most people are going to get COVID,” Food and Drug Administration acting commissioner Janet Woodcock told a Senate hearing.
“We need to do is make sure the hospitals can still function, transportation, you know, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens,” Woodcock said.
Fauci defended Woodcock’s statements.
“Remember, she was talking about the data that we all showed about the extraordinary effect and dichotomy between people who get Omicron who get vaccinated and boosted how well they are protected against hospitalization, and death,” Fauci said.
He noticed that everyone is going to get exposed but as long as they are vaccinated and boosted the odds of getting sick are “very, very low.”
More precautionary measures are being taken, such as President Biden’s plan to send 10 million additional testing kits to schools to keep them open rather than quarantining students and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., reintroducing legislation to send N95 masks to every American.
“We are proposing that we do what our public health experts and scientists say we must do: provide all of our people with high-quality, N95 masks without cost, which could prevent death and suffering and save huge amounts of health care dollars,” Sanders said.
More than 50 Congressional Democrats have signed on to the legislation.
The CDC reports 62% of Americans are fully vaccinated but only 23% have received a booster shot. The University of Maryland Medical System has reported less than 5% of hospitalized patients are fully vaccinated, according to Dr. Mohan Suntha.