Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted on Wednesday that the omicron variant of the Chinese coronavirus appears to be less severe than previous strains as blue-led areas across the country reimplement mask mandates and introduce coercive vaccination requirements out of fear.
“Or at this point, is it more about preventing further disruptions and learning how to live with the virus?” a reporter said, asking health officials to clarify their goal with the coronavirus moving forward.
“It would be helpful if you can just kind of articulate where we are at this stage of the pandemic with respect to transmissibility and the expectation that many more people, even those who are vaccinated and boosted, will likely be infected with omicron,” the reporter continued.
“Obviously, as we get further and further in the experience with omicron — and perhaps even variants that might come after that — it’s very, very clear,” Fauci said, explaining that data suggests that omicron is a milder variant.
“For example, with omicron, if you have a larger number of infections — and as the data that I presented here indicate that there is — it looks like a significant lessening of severity compared to others — it becomes much more relevant as to what the seriousness of the impact on society is,” he said, adding that they will “never” stop counting tests:
But we’re looking forward, as I think everyone feels is appropriate, that, ultimately, when we’re going to have to, quote, “live” with something that will not be eradicated and very likely would not be eliminated, but can actually be at such a lower level of control — namely a control that does not disrupt society, does not disrupt the economy — that it will be much more relevant as to what the level of seriousness of impact is, as opposed to infection, which might turn out to be milder.
“So we very well may see a transition in that direction as the months go by,” he added.
Despite that, the Biden administration, as well as blue state leaders, have continued to implement further mandates — from vaccine passport requirements in New York City to continued mask mandates on planes.
Recently, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) cited data from South Africa, suggesting the omicron variant of the Chinese coronavirus “causes milder disease than delta.”