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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Fauci: ‘To the extent possible’ to be confident that most of the United States will peak in omicron infection next month

White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday he is “as much as you can be sure” that most U.S. states will peak Omicron infections in the middle of next month.

“You can’t be overconfident when dealing with this virus,” Fauci said. said during an interview on ABC’s This Week.

“But if you look at the patterns that we have seen in South Africa, in the UK and in Israel, in the northeast, in New England and in the states of the Upper Midwest, they peaked and [are] starts to decline quite sharply,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“There are still some states in the southern and western states that continue to grow.”

If this pattern follows the downward trend seen elsewhere, such as the northeast, the United States will begin to see a similar “twist across the country,” Fauci said.

“Because it’s a big country and the level of vaccination we do in one region is very different compared to another, eventually they will all go in the same direction,” Fauci said.

However, Fauci noted that areas of the country that have not been fully vaccinated or have not received boosters may still experience “a little more pain and suffering in hospitalization.”

“But we do know – this is the latest data from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) – that even with Omicron, booster therapy goes a long way in protecting you from hospitalization and severe outcomes, so things are going well.”

While Biden’s top medical adviser appears to be optimistic about the United States’ outlook for Omicron infections to peak soon, he cautioned against “overconfidence” that things could go in that more positive direction.

Fauci’s comments come after World Health Organization (WHO) officials warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and that new variants of the virus are likely to continue to emerge.

“We hear a lot of people suggesting that Omicron is the last option, that it’s over after that. And it’s not,” the WHO’s technical head for COVID-19 said at a briefing in Geneva last week.

(From left) World Health Organization (WHO) Spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Health Emergencies Program Director Michael Ryan and WHO Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Director Maria Van Kerkhove attend a press briefing on the evolution of the new Coronavirus epidemic in Geneva, January 29, 2020 (Fabris Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, also warned that “we may never be done with the virus” because such pandemic viruses “end up becoming part of the ecosystem”.

However, Ryan noted that the worst of the pandemic, such as deaths, hospitalizations and lockdowns, could pass this year if problems with the distribution of vaccines and treatments are resolved quickly.

“What we need to do is to achieve low infection rates while vaccinating our population as much as possible so that no one dies,” Ryan said. “The question is, is it death. These are hospitalizations. It was the destruction of our social, economic and political systems that caused the tragedy, not the virus.”

Last week, Israel – one of the most vaccinated countries in the world – announced the biggest increase in infections since the start of the pandemic, driven by a spike in Omicron cases.

The Israeli Health Ministry said more than 72,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19. Authorities are hoping the fourth shot will help contain the current wave of infections.

Catabella Roberts

To follow

Catabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, with a focus on the United States.

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