Days after the U.S. President warned about "winter of severe illness and death" for those who are yet to get vaccinated against Covid-19, Dr Anthony Fauci sounded alarm bells for the surge in Omicron cases in New York City. Fauci said it's an "inevitable" sign" of things to unfold nationwide.
U.S reported the first case of Omicron, described as the 'variant of concern', on December 1 after a vaccinated individual travelled from South Africa to San Francisco in late November. According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), so far 38 states have reported cases of the highly transmissible variant.
Omicron Spreading at Faster Pace
Daily News reported that Fauci, while drawing attention towards the rapid surge of Omicron strain, said that it was an "inevitable" sign of things to come nationwide, especially for the unvaccinated or those who haven't yet gotten a booster shot."
Addressing a gathering during the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, Fauci said, "Yes, Omicron is more transmissible. We see what's going on in New York City, where we're getting beyond double digits of omicron being the primary variant."
Stating that unlike the previous variants, Omicron does not appear to cause more serious diseases so far he said it is "still up in the air."
Citing a study conducted and released by Columbia University which talks about the lower antibody protection against omicron provided by two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, Fauci said that booster shot can increase the protection by many times. "The bottom line: it's critical to get vaccinated. If you are vaccinated it's critical to get optimal protection by getting boosted," Fauci said.
"Winter of Severe Illness and Death"
Following the alert sounded by the Group of Seven countries regarding the Omicron variant of the ongoing pandemic by terming it the biggest threat to public health, Biden warned Americans regarding the repercussions of not getting vaccinated.
"It's here now, it's spreading, and it's going to increase," Biden said, "For the unvaccinated, we are looking at a winter of severe illness and death. For themselves, their families and the hospitals that will soon be overwhelmed. The only real protection is to get your shot," he added.
Sounding similar sentiments, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients also spoke about the importance of getting a booster shot.
Claiming that it is possible that those vaccinated may also test positive for the pandemic or suffer from milder symptoms, Zients said, "For the unvaccinated, you're looking at a winter of severe illness and death, for yourselves, your families and for the hospitals that you may overwhelm."