Fauci encouraged that omicron doesn’t appear to be more severe


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief adviser to the White House on the coronavirus response, says early data appears to show that the omicron variant does not make people more sick, though he cautioned that scientists need more data before they reach any firm conclusions.

He said omicron is cause for concern but not panic.

“Thus far, the signals are a bit encouraging regarding the severity,” Fauci told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.

He said that while omicron is spreading rapidly — it has now been identified in 14 states — it does not appear to be resulting in high levels of hospitalizations.

“But again, we’ve got to hold judgment until we get more experience” with omicron, Fauci qualified.

Still, with much unknown and the delta variant continuing to rage across the country, Fauci and other federal health officials are urging people to take mitigation precautions and get vaccinated.

“Boosters are going to be really critical in addressing whether or not we’re going to be able to handle this,” Fauci said.

Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, encouraged Americans to continue wearing masks.

“If you’re indoors, you should be wearing a mask with other people,” Collins said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He also called on people to get tested for the virus before gathering for holiday celebrations.

“There are now eight home tests that are out there,” Collins said. “Go to your pharmacy, you’ll see them on the shelf. … If you get one of these home tests, you can file with your insurance companies and get reimbursed for it.”

If it’s not covered under your plan, he said, the federal government is distributing 50 million tests to populations in need.

The delta variant is still the nation’s biggest threat. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said it accounts for 99.9% of all cases in the U.S. and is driving up hospitalizations and deaths.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Coronavirus News

More Coronavirus

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Your Local Election HQ

More Election

Local Sports

HS Sports Xtra: State's top teams roll in FRCC, FVA

Green Bay men oust Detroit at home

Bay frontrunners Green Bay East, West De Pere survive Thursday battles

Kimberly vs. Appleton East

NHM boys hockey uses discipline to get off to hot start

HS Sports Xtra: Ashwaubenon stuns No. 1 De Pere; FRCC & FVA highlights