News ID: 97975
Publish Date : 20 December 2021 - 21:26

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The COVID-19 omicron variant is “just raging around the world,” the White House’s top medical adviser said Sunday as President Joe Biden prepares to issue “a stark warning of what the winter will look like” for unvaccinated Americans.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “the real problem” for the U.S. hospital system is that “we have so many people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who have not yet been vaccinated.”
The prospect of a winter chilled by a wave of coronavirus infections is a severe reversal from the optimism projected by Biden some 10 months ago, when he suggested at a CNN town hall that the country would essentially be back to normal by this Christmas. Biden has been careful not to overpromise, yet confidence in the country has been battered by an unrelenting wave of COVID-19 mutations and variations that have left many Americans emotionally exhausted, dispirited and worried about infections.
With the threat that rising infections could worsen the supply chain challenges facing the United States and fuel inflation, Gov. Jared Polis, D-Colo., said Biden should stop talking about vaccination as two shots and a booster and instead call it “three doses” that are needed to maximize protection.
Polis pivoted to inflation that is running at a nearly four-decade high, saying Biden in his remarks on Tuesday about the omicron variant needed to show the country how he is addressing the rising cost of goods.
The administration is expecting a series of breakthrough infections with the surge of holiday travelers. Fauci said most people who have been vaccinated and gotten a booster should be fine if they take precautions such as wearing masks in crowded settings including airports.
Fauci was asked on CNN whether he expected a record numbers of cases — and what about hospitalizations and deaths. “Yes, well, unfortunately, I think that that is going to happen,” he said.
Psaki’s announcement Saturday on Twitter came after Vice President Kamala Harris said in a Los Angeles Times interview that the Biden administration “didn’t see delta coming. I think most scientists did not — upon whose advice and direction we have relied — didn’t see delta coming.” She added: “We didn’t see omicron coming. And that’s the nature of what this, this awful virus has been, which as it turns out, has mutations and variants.”
The vice president’s words raised doubts as to the administration’s strategy for addressing the pandemic.

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