Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, sounded cautiously optimistic Sunday that the Omicron wave topped nationally in the United States and that coronavirus cases may drop to manageable levels in the coming months.
“What we would hope for,” said Dr. Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser to Covid-19, during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” “is that when we enter the next few weeks to a month or so, we” I will see across the country that the level of infection comes under what I call the control area. “
That did not mean eradicating the virus, said Dr. Fauci. Infections will continue. “They are there, but they do not disturb society,” he said. “That’s the best case scenario.”
Similar to rapid rises and then falls in Omicron cases in South Africa and the UK, new cases in the US are now falling in the Northeast and Upper Midwest. “There are still some states in the southern states and western states that continue to rise,” said Dr. Fauci, “but if the pattern follows the trend we see elsewhere, such as the Northeast, I think you will begin to see a turnaround across the country.”
As of Saturday, an average of more than 705,700 new cases were identified each day, an increase of 8 percent over the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database. Hospital admissions nationwide average 159,500 each day, a record and an increase of about 25 percent. The average number of new deaths is now 2,152 a day, an increase of 41 percent.
“There may be a little more pain and suffering with hospitalizations in those areas of the country that have not been fully vaccinated or have not been boosted,” said Dr. Fauci. Hospitals in several parts of the country are under pressureto keep up after several increases and shortages of staff, including in Mississippi, where almost all of the state’s acute hospitals have been pushed to capacity.
- Deaths: Dead
About this data
Sources: State and local health authorities (cases, deaths); US Department of Health and Human Services.
He advised that it would be wise to remain ready for the possibility of what he called “the worst case scenario”. “I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but we need to be prepared,” he said, describing the situation as “we are getting another variant that has characteristics that would be problematic, such as a high degree of transmissibility or a high degree of virulence. “
But all in all, he said, “it looks good. We do not want to be overconfident, but they seem to be going in the right direction right now.”
Asked about possible fourth shots for Americans, Dr. Fauci that it was too early to know the durability of protection from the initial round of boosters. On Friday, data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine boosters kept infected Americans, who had all three doses, out of the hospitals.
United States, with only 63 percent of the population fully vaccinatedlags behind other developed nations and has a significant, and sometimes vocal, vaccine-resistant population.
On Sunday, thousands of protesters marched against vaccine mandates to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, in a demonstration organized by a group called Defeat the Mandates: An American Homecoming. The meeting attracted conservatives and fringe groups across the political spectrum, including a wide range of conspiracy theorists.
Some protesters used Holocaust images. Speakers included JP Sears, a conservative conspiracy theorist, YouTube celebrity and comedian; Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease researcher and a vaccine skeptic; and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the political offspring and prominent anti-vaccine activist.