Fauci Says Omicron’s Push To Continue And Americans Must Not Be Complacent | Coronavirus
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Covid-19 cases will continue to rise globally due to the Omicron variant, U.S. Chief Medical Advisor Anthony Fauci said on Sunday, warning Americans not to be complacent amid reports according to which the variant is less harmful than the others.
“If you have a lot, a lot, a lot more people with a lower severity level,” Fauci told ABC’s This Week, “that might kind of neutralize the positive effect of having less severity.
“We’re especially worried about those in that unvaccinated class… they’re the most vulnerable when you have a virus that’s extremely effective in reaching people. “
Fauci also welcomed Donald Trump’s approval of the Covid-19 vaccines and booster shots, saying, “We will take whatever we can to get people vaccinated.”
But Trump has sparked off-putting anger among supporters and amid a huge increase in cases, with feared ripple effects for the economy and schools, Fauci also admitted the United States must ‘do better’ to give access to the tests.
Speaking to Axios, Fauci said it was “conceivable that sooner or later everyone would have been infected and / or vaccinated or boosted”.
“When you get to this point,” he said, “unless you have a very weird variant that escapes all protection – which would be unusual – then I think you could get to this point where you have it at a stable level. “
But he also suggested that fourth hits might still be needed. On ABC, he was asked why “we still don’t have affordable tests widely available to everyone who needs them.”
“If you look at the beginning of the [Biden] administration, ”Fauci said,“… there was essentially no rapid home test available. Now there are more than nine and more to come. The production was quickly increased.
“… But the situation where you have such a high demand, an amalgam of events, Omicron making people appropriately worry and want to get tested as well as [a] doing some testing over the holiday season – obviously we need to do better.
“I think things will improve considerably as January approaches, but that doesn’t help us today and tomorrow. So you are right [access to testing] is worrying. “
Another prominent public health expert said he did not think there was a need to justify possible fourth injections of the vaccine at this time.
“If we need it, I think our health care system is ready,” Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told Fox News Sunday. “But let’s actually talk about whether we need it or not. And right now, based on the data I’ve seen, I’m pretty skeptical that we’ll need a fourth shot.
“Part of the question is we have to ask ourselves what are we trying to do? Are we trying to block every infection? Maybe that is our goal. If that’s our goal, then yes, maybe we need a fourth shot. Or are we just trying to prevent serious illness and death? Which, of course, should be, I think, our main focus.
“So I’m not convinced at this point that we need a fourth move… let’s get a lot more data before we even start to think seriously about it.”
Jha also said that school closures – feared by many parents – are not expected to increase.
“We know how to keep schools open,” he said, “we know how to keep them safe. It shouldn’t even be on the table. I am disappointed to see this happen.
“We know that for children, being in school is good for them, for their mental health, for their education. And we have all kinds of tools to keep schools open so I don’t really understand why school districts are [closing schools].
“… There may be times when you have such severe staff shortages that it can be difficult to keep schools operating. This should really be the only context I’m thinking about at this point. “
More than 816,000 have died from Covid in the United States, but resistance to vaccinations and other public health measures remains strongest in the states and counties that voted for Trump. On ABC, Fauci was asked if he thought the former president’s supporters would listen to his support for vaccines.
“Well, I sure hope so,” he said. “We will take whatever we can to get people vaccinated. “
But Fauci also said he was “appalled” when Trump supporters in Dallas booed him for supporting the vaccines.
“I was amazed by this,” he said. “I mean, given his popularity with this band, they would hoot him… tells me how reluctant they are to be told what they should do.”
“I think continuing to say that people should get vaccinated and explaining that to them, in my mind, is a good thing. I hope he will continue. “
Trump also supported vaccines in an interview with conservative commentator Candace Owens, saying, “Vaccines work… the ones who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones who don’t take the vaccine… and if you take the vaccine, you are protected.
On Instagram, Owens said Trump supported vaccines because he was “old” and “came from an era before television, before the Internet, before he could conduct … independent research.”
Last week, after Biden acknowledged his predecessor’s efforts to develop vaccines, Trump said he was “grateful.” Biden also praised Trump for receiving a recall, saying that “this may be one of the few things he and I agree on.”
Vice President Kamala Harris was asked on CBS’s Face the Nation show on Sunday whether the unvaccinated were to blame for the Omicron surge.
“I don’t think this is the time to talk about fouls,” Harris said.
But she added: “It is clear that everyone has the opportunity to make a choice to save their life and avoid hospitalization if they get the vaccine and receive the booster. And so I urge people to do it.
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