Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday predicted that the most recent wave of the coronavirus pandemic within the US might peak by the top of January.
“It is onerous to say,” mentioned Fauci, chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, when requested on CNBC’s Closing Bell when the present surge in infections fueled by the Omicron variant will decline will.
“It definitely peaked fairly rapidly in South Africa,” the place the extremely transmissible new variant was recognized final month, Fauci mentioned. “It went virtually straight up and turned in a short time.”
“I might think about, given the scale of our nation and the number of vaccinations and non-vaccinations, that it’ll seemingly be greater than a few weeks, most likely by January,” mentioned Fauci.
Fauci additionally mentioned it was technically attainable that Omicron might hasten the top of the pandemic if this variant, with its excessive transmissibility, is discovered to exchange different strains of the virus that trigger extra extreme infections.
“I might hope that’s the case,” mentioned Fauci when requested in regards to the chance, however “there isn’t any assure that it’ll.”
However “when you might have a really communicable virus changing one other virus, and [the replacement virus] has a decrease severity, that will be a optimistic consequence, “he mentioned.
“However you’ll be able to by no means assure that,” he emphasised. “This virus has fooled us as soon as earlier than. Bear in mind, we thought the vaccines can be all proper, after which Delta got here alongside and threw a wrench into every thing.”
Then got here Omicron, Fauci famous, which has resulted in a large spike in circumstances world wide – together with the US, the place a document variety of Covid infections have been reported this week.
Nonetheless, consultants are “happy to see” that the most recent information from quite a few international locations present that Omicron infections are much less critical than Delta’s, Fauci mentioned.
“What you might be saying is feasible that it could occur, however there isn’t any assure that it could imply the top of a serious outbreak,” mentioned Fauci.
“I hope that is predicted now, proper? That we’ll see,” he added. “Hope so, however I can not assure it.”