Dr. Anthony Fauci announced Wednesday afternoon in the White House briefing room that the first confirmed case of the “Omicron variant” of COVID-19 had been identified in California in an individual who recently returned from South Africa.
The individual had traveled to South Africa, returning on Nov. 22 and testing positive for the variant on Nov. 29. The individual was fully vaccinated; was experiencing mild symptoms; and no one in close contact had tested positive, Fauci said.
Fauci also said that genomic sequencing tests had been performed at the University of California San Francisco, and confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He advised that people should be vaccinated, have children vaccinated, and sign up for booster shots if they had received an mRNA vaccine more than six months ago.
The case in California was the only case that had been suspected by the CDC to be an Omicron variant case, Fauci said.
The Biden administration shut down travel from South Africa and several other African nations after South African scientists had identified the new variant. South Africa’s government has complained about the draconian measure, noting that it was not the country in which the variant had originated, but rather the country whose scientists had first identified the variant.
Fauci said the infected individual had taken appropriate action by seeking testing as soon as symptoms were experienced.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.