- Dr. Anthony Fauci said Covid infections are not “going to go away” as concern grows over the Omicron variant.
- The CDC says no cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant have been detected in the United States yet.
- The WHO has labeled the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, a “variant of concern.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci said that coronavirus cases are “not going to go away” as concerns of the Omicron variant rise.
“We certainly are not going to eradicate it,” Fauci said on Meet the Press. “We’ve only eradicated one virus and that’s smallpox. Elimination means there’s none of it in the country like we have now with polio and with measles. I don’t think we’re gonna be there with this.”
“What I do think we will be able to do is get a level of control that’s low enough that it doesn’t interfere with our function. It doesn’t have a major impact on society and what we do. It’s not going to go away. The lower we get it, the better off we’ll be, and you get it that low when you get the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated and boosted,” Fauci went on.
Fauci said the mutations of the omicron variant are “troublesome” and he wants to make sure that “we’re prepared for the worst.”
“It’s in with our own grasp of how we’re going to be able to live with the virus. The lower we get it, the lower the dynamics of virus in the community, the lower the risk to everyone, including vaccinated people,” Fauci said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Saturday that there have not been any cases of the Omicron variant detected in the United States yet. The virus was first detected in South Africa, and cases have since been reported in Israel, Botswana, Hong Kong, and Belgium.
The US is planning to restrict travel from eight countries in southern Africa on Monday, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi, and Namibia.
Fauci praised scientists from South Africa for being forthcoming with information about the omicron variant while he defended the travel restrictions.
“When you diminish or stop or block travel from a particular country, there’s a reason for that. It’s to give you time to do things,” Fauci said. “The positive effect is to get us better prepared, to rev up on the vaccinations, to be really ready for something that may not actually be a big deal, but we want to be sure that we’re prepared for the worst.”