During Wednesday’s White House press conference with the White House COVID-19 response team and public health officials, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the Omicron variant spreading quickly around the globe appears to be less severe than the Delta variant.
The Biden administration's Covid spokesperson said that though it may take a few weeks to get a clearer picture on the variant, "it appears that with the cases that are seen, we are not seeing a very severe profile of disease."
"In fact, it might be, and I underscore might be, less severe as shown by the ratio of hospitalizations per number of new cases," Fauci continued.
He noted though that this current understanding of the variant could be swayed by a testing sample that includes a large number of younger people, who already have a better chance at fighting off the virus.
"However, this could be influenced by the fact that many in this particular cohort are young individuals, the hospital stay seems to be less and the use of supplemental oxygen needs to be less. Again I caution you, these are still preliminary," said Fauci.
Fauci also stated that a study has found the Omicron variant reinfects those that previously contracted COVID-19 than other variants.
He noted that the results from live and pseudo-virus studies will be ready for interpretation in middle of next week for the pseudo-virus, and by the end of next week for the live virus.
The Omicron variant has currently been detected in 16 states across the US. On Sunday, health officials stated that despite the Omicron’s fast spreading tendency, the Delta variant remains the dominant strain in the US, according to Reuters.