Infection expert and chief medical officer at the White House Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care – Biden officials take heat at Senate hearing Biden health officials slammed at hearing for confusing pandemic messages Hot mic catches Fauci calling GOP senator ‘an idiot’ MORE said Tuesday that “almost everyone” will eventually become infected with the omicron variant of coronavirus.
“Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of transferability efficiency, will eventually find just about everyone, “Fauci told the Center for Strategic and International Studies during a “fireside chat.”
“Those who have been vaccinated and vaccinated and boosted would be exposed. Some, perhaps many of them, will be infected, but will most likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well in the sense that they will not be hospitalized and die, “he added.
The Omicron variant was discovered in November and has since caused an increase in the number of cases around the world, prompting some countries, states and cities to put restrictions back in place.
Omicron is the most transmissible variant that has emerged so far, but appears to cause fewer hospitalizations and deaths than previous mutations of the virus.
Fauci’s comment follows a similar remark, Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, made at a Senate hearing on Tuesday when she said “it’s hard to deal with what’s actually happening right now, which is that most people will get COVID. “
Fauci defended Woodcock’s remarks at a COVID-19 briefing Wednesday, saying Woodcock did not mean to imply that “most of us would eventually get sick with omicron.”
“Remember, she was talking about the data that we all showed about the extraordinary effect and dichotomy between people getting Omicron who are being vaccinated and boosted, how well they are protected from hospitalization and death,” Fauci said.
“What she was referring to is that pretty much everyone will end up being exposed and likely to be infected, but if you are vaccinated and if you boost, the chances of getting sick are very, very low,” he added.
Although individuals who have been vaccinated or have previously been infected with COVID-19 may receive omicron, hospitalizations and deaths are significantly higher among those who are unvaccinated.
Hospitals around the country are being overwhelmed by cases as some states, including New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia, have declared emergencies to deal with the increase caused by omicron.
In light of the new variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly is considering recommending Americans to wear higher quality N95 or KN95 masks.
–Updated at 13.30
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