ImageCredit…Pool photo by Greg Nash
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, sounded cautiously optimistic on Sunday that the Omicron wave was peaking nationally in the United States and that the coronavirus cases could fall to manageable levels in the coming months.
“What we would hope,” Dr. Fauci, President Biden’s top medical adviser for Covid-19, said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” “is that, as we get into the next weeks to month or so, we’ll see throughout the entire country the level of infection get to below what I call that area of control.”
That did not mean eradicating the virus, Dr. Fauci said. Infections will continue. “They’re there but they don’t disrupt society,” he said. “That’s the best case scenario.”
Similar to rapid rises and then declines in Omicron cases in South Africa and Britain, new cases in the U.S. are now dropping in the Northeast and upper Midwest. “There are still some states in the Southern states and Western states that continue to go up,” Dr. Fauci said, “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.”
As of Saturday, an average of more than 705,700 new cases were being identified every day, an increase of 8 percent over the last two weeks, according to a New York Times database. Hospitalizations nationwide are averaging 159,500 each day, a record and an increase of about 25 percent. Average new deaths are now 2,152 a day, up 41 percent.
“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 boosted,” Dr. Fauci said. Hospitals in several parts of the country are straining to keep up after multiple surges and staffing shortages, including in Mississippi, where nearly all of the state’s acute-care hospitals have been pushed to capacity.
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