The Slatest

Fauci “Confident” Most States Will Reach Omicron Peak by Mid-February

Dr. Anthony Fauci gives an opening statement during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Jan. 11, 2022 at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Anthony Fauci gives an opening statement during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Jan. 11, 2022 at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. SHAWN THEW/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he’s optimistic it won’t be long before most states will reach a peak in COVID-19 omicron variant cases. “Things are looking good. We don’t want to get overconfident, but they look like they’re going in the right direction right now,” Fauci said on ABC’s This Week. Some states in the northeast and the upper Midwest have already seen cases decline but infections continue rising in southern and western states. “There are still some southern states and western states that continue to go up but if the pattern follows the trend that we’re seeing in other places, such as the Northeast, I believe that you will start to see a turnaround throughout the entire country,” Fauci said.

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President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser said he’s “as confident as you can be” regarding his prediction that most states will reach a peak of cases by mid-February. He did caution that “you never want to be overconfident” when it comes to COVID-19 but the signs are pointing in the right direction, particularly when the experiences of other countries are taken into account. That hardly means the United States is out of the woods yet and Fauci predicted “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 boosters.”

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Fauci also expressed optimism that once the peak passes the level of COVID-19 infections will be below an “area of control.” That means it won’t be eradicated but rather that “it gets down to such a low level that it’s essentially integrated into the general respiratory infections that we have learned to live with,” Fauci said. “We’d like it to get down to that level where it doesn’t disrupt us, in the sense of getting back to a degree of normality.”

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