Omicron ‘will find just about everybody,’ Fauci says as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President, delivers an update on the Omicron COVID-19 variant during the daily press briefing at the White House on December 01, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President, delivers an update on the Omicron COVID-19 variant during the daily press briefing at the White House on December 01, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
  • The Omicron coronavirus variant “will find just about everybody,” Anthony Fauci has warned.
  • Fauci said those who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 “are going to get the brunt of the severe aspect of this.”
  • However, the top US infectious disease expert added that “we may be on the threshold” of turning the tide on the pandemic.

The highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant “will find just about everybody,” warned Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to surge and break records throughout the nation. 

“I think in many respects, Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody,” Fauci said during a virtual Tuesday chat with the Center for Strategic and International Studies Commission. 

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, added: “Those who have been vaccinated, and 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.”

 

However, Fauci said, those who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 “are going to get the brunt of the severe aspect of this.”

“Although it is less severe on a case-by-case basis when you quantitatively have so many people who are infected, a fraction of them — even if it’s a small fraction — are going to get seriously ill and are gonna’ die and that’s the reason why it will challenge our health system,” Fauci said. 

The US is currently reporting nearly 1 million new coronavirus infections per day, with more than 150,000 hospitalized and over 1,200 COVID-19 deaths daily, Fauci added. 

The Omicron variant accounts for approximately 95% of the cases, according to data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

“We’re not at that point where this is an acceptable, let’s live with it now, but I believe we will get there,” Fauci said. 

Fauci said the tide will turn on the coronavirus pandemic when there is “enough protection in the community” and “enough drugs available” to treat severe cases of COVID-19.

“When we get there, there’s that transition,” Fauci said, adding, “We may be on the threshold of that right now.”

“It’s entirely possible,” he said. 

According to the latest data from the CDC, nearly 208 million people in the US — or 62.6 percent of the total population — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.