(Fox News) Fauci says COVID-19 will be endemic: ‘We certainly are not going to eradicate it’
Fauci admitted that the virus may end up in a permanent endemic phase, much like the influenza virus.
“We certainly are not going to eradicate it,” Fauci said on “Meet the Press.” “What I do think we’ll be able to do is get a level of control that’s low enough that doesn’t interfere with our function.”
“It doesn’t have a major impact on society and what we do, but it’s not going to go away,” he added.
Fauci says omicron ‘not necessarily’ able to evade vaccine antibodies
Dr. Anthony Fauci told “Meet the Press” that the new restrictions introduced in the face of the omicron variant are born out of caution based on analysis of mutations on the spike protein of the virus.
“The profile of the mutation strongly suggests it will have transmissibility and might evade immune protection that you would get from a monoclonal antibody or from the convalescent serum after a person has been infected and possibly against even some of the vaccine-induced antibodies,” Fauci explained. “It’s not necessarily that that’s going to happen, but it’s a strong indication that we really need to be prepared for that.”
The omicron variant has 32 mutations on the spike protein of the virus, far more than the delta or beta variants had. So far, officials only know that the virus transmits more rapidly, but that is enough to cause concern while the effects of the variant remain unknown.
“It’s clearly giving the indication it has the capability of transmitting rapidly,” Fauci said. “That’s what’s causing us to be concerned.”
COVID-19 omicron variant ‘almost definitely here’
Former FDA head Dr. Scott Gottlieb stated that the omicron variant is most likely already in America, even though officials have yet to confirm any cases.
“It’s almost definitely here already,” Gottlieb said on “Face the Nation.” “Just looking at the number of cases coming off planes this weekend, it’s almost a certainty that there some cases that have gotten into the United States.”
But Gottlieb downplayed any fears that omicron could cause a reset to the way things were at the start of the pandemic.
“We’re in a much better place than we were a year ago when B.1.1.7 first arrived or when delta first arrived,” Gottlieb argued, revealing that the CDC is sequencing about 100,000 cases a week and will set up a new surveillance system specifically for the omicron.
Fauci calls for commission on ‘what went wrong’ with country’s COVID-19 reponse
Fauci said he would be “astounded” if the U.S. did not perform an assessment of its response to the pandemic.
“I think what’s going to happen is that you’re going to see that,” Fauci said on “Face the Nation.” “I would be astounded if we did not have a very serious look at what went right, what went wrong from a public health standpoint, from a local standpoint, from a global standpoint.”
“I don’t think the public should imagine this will go through, with 760,000 dying and 40 plus million being infected … and we’re not going to look back at this and tear it apart, examine it, do an autopsy on it and figure it out.”
When asked if he wants a commission to investigate the response, Fauci said he “absolutely” wants one.