Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that Americans should “prepare for the worst” after the emergence of another new coronavirus variant, named omicron.
Fauci spoke with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week,” addressing the measures that were already being taken — such as travel restrictions — and how effective he expected them to be.
“We’re seeing these travel bans. Are they going to make any difference?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“You know, it will slow things down, George,” Fauci replied, saying that imposing travel bans on people was not likely to stop the highly transmissible virus from traveling across borders.
“No way that’s going to happen. What you can do is you can delay it enough to get us better prepared. That’s the thing that people need to understand. If you’re going to do the travel ban the way we’ve done now and that we’re implementing right now, utilize the time that you’re buying to fill in the gaps.”
Fauci went on to say that experts and scientists should be using the time such delays could buy them to study the new variant of the virus as closely as possible.
“You learn what its relationship is to the antibodies induced by vaccines and above all you use this time to really put your pedal to the floor and get people vaccinated and get people boosted. It’s going to give us a period of time to enhance our preparedness,” Fauci continued. “I think we have to give kudos to the South Africans for being so transparent so quickly by giving us this information. So they’re giving us time to be better prepared.”
Stephanopoulos asked what Fauci would advise regarding travel — particularly travel outside the United States.
“Right now people should be prudent,” Fauci said, noting that any travel during a pandemic posed a risk. “The best way to protect yourself, if you’re going to travel, have to travel, or want to travel, is to get vaccinated and to be prudent when you travel about wearing masks in indoor settings such as if you go to the airport, which is one of the most congregate settings you can imagine. Make sure you wear a mask. Above all vaccination will be the most important way to prevent you from being at such a high risk.”
The suggestion that getting vaccinated is good protection from this new variant makes little sense, given that the reason governments are panicking is due to the fact that it seems to be largely vaccine resistant.
Even then, the hysteria surrounding the new variant is entirely unwarranted.
Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, was seemingly the first to bring attention to the emerging Omicron variant and noted that the symptoms from the new variant appeared to be rather mild.
Speaking with The Telegraph, a U.K. publication, Coetzee noted the apparent symptoms in patients with the Omicron variant.
“Looking at the mildness of the symptoms that we are seeing, currently there is no reason for panicking as we don’t see severely ill patients,” Coetzee said.
The doctor continued, stating that this variant seemed to start with the 40-and-under group, with the “most predominant clinical complaint” being “severe fatigue for one or two days,” as well as “headache” and “body aches.”
Dr. Coetzee added that one very young patient had a high pulse and fever, but within two days, had gotten “much better.”
“What we are seeing clinically in South Africa … is extremely mild. For us, that’s mild cases. We haven’t admitted anyone. I spoke to other colleagues of mine, same picture,” Coetzee said.
When asked by a TV host if the U.S., U.K., and Europe are “panicking unnecessarily,” Coetzee replied: “I think you already have it there in your country. … I would say yes, at this stage, I would say definitely. Two weeks from now, maybe we will say something different.”
Author: Luis Wilkins