Within the past several days, most of the mainstream media quickly seized on the news of the “omicron” COVID-19 variant with neverending breaking news segments claiming the world “is on edge” over the “highly mutated” variant.
President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Tony Fauci, wasn’t far behind, as according to Fox News, he announced over the weekend that he would “not be surprised” if the reportedly highly-transmissible omicron variant is already in America.
The World Health Organization announced last week that it classified omicron as a Variant of Concern (VOC), prompting worldwide reaction, including travel bans in Europe and in the United States, mainly targeted at a handful of African countries where omicron has popped up.
A “bunch of mutations”
Fauci explained his thoughts on the omicron variant during an interview on NBC’s Weekend TODAY show, during which he claimed that he believes the variant has likely already found its way to America.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director was asked about the possibility that omicron is already here.
“You know, I would not be surprised if it is. We have not detected it yet. But, when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility and you’re already having travel-related cases that they’ve noted in Israel and Belgium and in other places – when you have a virus like this, it almost invariably is ultimately going to go, essentially, all over,” Fauci responded.
Fauci also noted that the variant already has “a bunch of mutations” that he explained could mean that the variant has a much higher chance of evading available protections, such as monoclonal antibodies and “convalescent plasma for people who’ve been infected and recovered and possibly vaccine.”
He added: These are all ‘maybes,’ but the suggestion is enough.”
But don’t panic!
Fauci was also quizzed about the Biden administration’s sudden travel ban for non-U.S. citizens from a list of eight African countries, essentially explaining that the surprising move was simply to buy time to figure out what’s going on.
“The issue of blocking travel from a given country is to just give us time to assess it better. That’s the reason for doing that,” Fauci said. “Not any reason to panic. But we want to give us some time to really fill in the blanks of what we don’t know right now.”
According to Fox News, the travel ban was recommended to the president by Fauci and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Only time will tell if omicron is the scary variant that many in the mainstream media are wanting it to be, but if it ends up a dud, like most other variants to date, the Biden administration, in the eyes of many, will have cried wolf too many times for Americans to take seriously the news of future variants.