Gottlieb Says There’s “No Indication” That Omicron Causes More Serious Disease

Washington – dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said Sunday there is no indication that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus causes a more serious disease, even if it seems more transmissible than previous virus strains.

“There is no evidence that it causes a more serious illness. What we have seen in South Africa in particular is a disconnect between the cases and hospitalizations,” Gottlieb said on Face the Nation on Sunday.

In South Africa, where the variant was first discovered, hospital admissions are down 30% from cases and 80% from previous waves, Gottlieb said. He said higher levels of immunity, either from vaccinations or previous infections, may be why “it manifests as a less severe disease.”

“Probably about 80% of Americans and 90% of South Africans have some degree of immunity, either from a previous infection or from vaccination,” he said.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 43 states in the US have reported at least one case of the Omicron variant.

Gottlieb said Americans are experiencing COVID fatigue and tired of living diminished lives due to the virus. He predicted that Omicron “will make its way through the population, probably very soon, if you look at what’s happened in South Africa and even what’s happening in the UK right now, where it’s moving very quickly. Four to six weeks ahead of us, like most of the population.”

He noted that it would be wise for vulnerable individuals to take extra precautions during the holidays, including testing, mitigation measures and vaccinations.

dr. Francis Collins, the outgoing director of the National Institutes of Health, emphasized the importance of vaccinations and booster shots to protect against the Omicron variant.

“What do we know about Omicron? We know it’s very contagious,” Collins told “Face the Nation.” “You saw what happened initially in South Africa, then in Europe and now in the US. It’s about doubling every two to four days, and we’re going to see the number of cases rise quite a lot over the next few days. weeks.”

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