“Omikron, with its exceptional, unprecedented portability, will eventually find virtually everyone,” Fauci said at a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). “Vaccines with a booster dose will also come into contact (with the virus). Some, maybe many of them, become infected, but very likely, with some exceptions, they will do well in terms of hospitalization and death, ”said the epidemiologist.
“There is no way we can eradicate this virus,” he added. However, he said, the US is likely to enter a new phase soon, “in which there will be enough protection in the community, enough drugs available to make it very easy to cure someone when they become infected and in a high-risk group.” However, he added that the United States is not yet at this stage.
Omicron has spread very rapidly in the United States, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that this variant is now found in 98.3 percent of new infections. At the beginning of December, omicron was detected in only 0.6 percent of those infected.
Schools will not close
The Biden administration on Wednesday announced that in spite of the large number of new infections, it would increase the available testing capacity in schools by ten million tests per month, despite the large number of new infections. It also wants to better connect schools with test centers and fully reimburse the costs of schools running their own diagnostic programs.
The tests should be available for pupils and teachers twice as much as last November, the White House said. According to the government, 96 percent of all American schools now manage to operate, compared to 46 percent last January.
The United States has more than 145,000 coronavirus-infected patients in hospitals, the largest since the onset of the pandemic. Although omicron, according to available studies, appears to cause a milder course of covid-19, the large number of infected still increases the pressure on American hospitals, which also face the downtime of large numbers of infected workers and exhaustion. According to the models, the number of hospitalized can double by the end of January.
In the last week, an average of 1,715 people died each day in the United States after coronavirus infection, and their number is still rising. So far, however, it seems to be slower than the onset of previous waves.