Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that, while COVID-19 variants were expected by health officials, the omicron variant displayed “unprecedented mutations” that caught experts off-guard. In the last two weeks, new cases have increased alarmingly. Universities and businesses have been prompted to order boosters or to impose more restrictive measures in an echo of the initial phases of the pandemic.
Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States claimed this week that Biden didn’t see the omicron or delta variants coming. Fauci however stated that health experts had warned of variants, but not this particular type.
Fauci stated that variants were definitely coming on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “What we didn’t anticipate was the magnitude of the mutations within the amino acid substitutions for omicron. This was truly unprecedented.”
The 50 mutations that the omicron variant had developed were significantly more than those in the delta variant’s 10 mutations. The most alarming aspect is the 30 mutations that occurred on spike protein. This is what allows the virus to potentially evade vaccines’ increased protection.
Fauci stated that when there is so much replication in the community, it gives a virus enough chance to reproduce. Sometimes, those mutations end up creating a new variant. “That’s exactly what happened to delta, and that’s certainly what happened to omicron.
The best way to manage the omicron variant of the virus is to test frequently, but large lines of testing have caused a backlog and dearth of take-home testing.
Fauci stated that the government will make significant investments in testing capabilities to address this problem.
Fauci stated that the government is now making billions of investments to make 200 million to 500,000,000 tests per month. This will result in a lot more tests, as Fauci explained to ABC’s “This Week.” Many of them will be available for free. He said, “There will be 10,000 centers that will be giving out free tests,” and speculated that the public would see the results in two to three weeks.