(The Hill) – Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday he is “as confident as you can be” that most states in the U.S. will reach a peak in omicron infections over the next several weeks.
“You never want to be overconfident when you’re dealing with this virus,” Fauci said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” “But if you look at the patterns that we’ve seen in South Africa, in the U.K. and in Israel … they have peaked and [are] starting to come down rather sharply.”
According to Fauci, there are some states, particularly in the South and West, that have seen an increase in omicron infections despite falling infection rates in other areas of the country where vaccination levels are higher.
“But if the pattern follows the trend that we are seeing in other places, such as the Northeast, I believe that you will start to see a turnaround throughout the entire country,” he predicted.
Fauci said that despite “varying” levels of vaccination across the country, “ultimately they’re all going to go in the same direction.”
Public health experts have been working to beat back the omicron variant of the coronavirus for the last several months. People with omicron, particularly those who are vaccinated, have reported more mild symptoms from the highly contagious variant of the virus.
President Joe Biden and other public officials have said being vaccinated and boosted against the coronavirus is the surest way people can protect themselves against severe illness from all strains of the virus.
“We do know … that, even with omicron, boosting makes a major, major difference in protecting you from hospitalization and severe outcomes,” Fauci said. “So things are looking good. We don’t want to get overconfident, but they look like they are going in the right direction right now.”