As the highly contagious variant of the omicron spreads across the country, Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted on Sunday that the United States would see a record number of COVID-19 cases as hospitals shut down in the next few weeks.
Cases have skyrocketed in South Africa after the coronavirus variant gained popularity, followed by a surge in the United Kingdom. With less than a week left before Christmas celebrations, Fauci said the US is facing a significant spike in cases and hospitalizations.
President Biden’s chief medical adviser was asked Sunday if he expected a new record number of cases.
“Well, unfortunately … I think it will happen,” Fauci replied to CNN’s State of the Union.
“We will see a significant burden on the hospital system in some regions of the country, especially in those regions where you have low vaccination rates, which is one of the reasons why we continue to emphasize the importance of vaccinating those who have not been vaccinated. people are vaccinated, ”added Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci called the virus “unusual” as it spreads at an incredible rate.
“The doubling time is between two and three days,” he said. “Right now, in some regions of the country, 50% of the isolates are omicron, which means it will take over.”
Fauci stressed that people who have not been vaccinated should get vaccinated as soon as possible. He added that those who are fully vaccinated must receive additional vaccinations if they are eligible for vaccinations.
“When you travel around the house and get together, wear a mask,” he said. “It will be hard. We cannot get away from this. … We cannot, because the omicron we are dealing with will be difficult for several weeks or months as winter gets deeper. “
Biden is set to give a speech on the omicron option on Tuesday.