The Omicron variant case surge in the United States may be slowing down, but Dr. Anthony S. Fauci warns that the surge is still strong in some areas and that Americans must not be complacent.
Omicron, the highly contagious Omicron virus, has reached its peak in the Northeast, Upper Midwest and other areas it first arrived. This may have provided some relief for Americans who are sickened by the virus. In the last few days, hospital admissions and new cases have declined nationally.
“What we would hope,” Dr. Fauci, President Biden’s top medical adviser for the coronavirus, said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” “is that, as we get into the next weeks to month or so, we’ll see throughout the entire country the level of infection get to below what I call that area of control.”
Dr. Fauci stated that this does not mean the virus will be eradicated. Infections will not stop. “They’re there, but they don’t disrupt society,” he said. “That’s the best-case scenario.”
For now, the United States is in a precarious place. They are currently experiencing 690,000. Daily cases, an increase of more than at any time in the pandemic. Hospitals are overwhelmed and the number of deaths has risen to around 2,100 per day. Parts of the West and South are still experiencing sharp increases.
“There may be a bit more pain and suffering with hospitalizations in those areas of the country that have not been fully vaccinated or have not gotten boosted,” Dr. Fauci said. Hospitals are struggling to keep up after multiple surges and staffing shortages, including in Mississippi, where nearly all of the state’s acute-care hospitals have been pushed to capacity. In several states, the National Guard has been deployed along with active-duty U.S. Army medics to hospitals.
States that are slow to immunize, such as Utah, report record numbers of hospitalizations and cases.
Omicron still has not reached its peak in some Western countries with higher vaccination rates.
Oregon is reporting a 71 percent increase in daily average cases over a two-week period and a 65 percent increase in hospitalizations, according to The Times’s database. This month, Gov. Kate Brown announced that she would deploy up 500 National Guard members to help hospitals cope with the increasing caseload.
California reported a 47 per cent increase in daily average hospitalizations over the past two week. Governor. Gavin Newsom has also called upon the National Guard in his State.
Scientists remain unsure if Omicron marked the transition of coronavirus from an epidemic to a less-threatening, endemic virus. They also wonder if any future surges of variants would bring about a new round.
Dr. Fauci advised that remaining ready for the possibility of what he called “the worst-case scenario” would be wise. “I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but we have to be prepared,” he said, describing that situation as, “We get yet again another variant that has characteristics that would be problematic, like a high degree of transmissibility or a high degree of virulence.”
But overall, he said, “Things are looking good. We don’t want to get overconfident, but they look like they’re going in the right direction right now.”
Esha Ray, Kenneth Chang, Mitch Smith, Julie Bosman Tracey TullyContributed to this report.
Source: NY Times