WATCH: MSNBC's Chris Hayes admits new variant is similar to flu, says 'we do not reorient our lives around the flu'

"We don't orient our lives around the flu," said Hayes.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Wednesday Night's episode of "All In with Chris Hayes," the MSNBC show's namesake talked about the omicron variant, and how the variant's symptoms and severity are more like the flu than the early variants of the pandemic.

Hayes talked about the high transmissibility of the omicron variant, which has been reflected in recent graphics showcasing spread across the United States, where all states and territories are in the "high" spread category.

"A professor of emerging infectious diseases at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimates that what's called the R-Naught of Omicron could be as high as 10, which would mean every person infected with it infects on average, another 10 people. That's just so so contagious," said Hayes.

"I mean, that's compared to an average of 2.5 people with the original strain when COVID first landed on our shores, and seven people with a Delta variant which itself was by far the most contagious variant that we'd seen," he continued.

With the high transmissibility of the variant, Hayes said "this moment is in some ways, one of the weirdest the pandemic," adding that "all of a sudden dealing with a somewhat different beast in some ways."

Hayes pointed out that the best way to stop the spread of the variant is will herd immunity, or 100 percent vaccination rates.

"You would need essentially 100 percent vaccination, like it's like stamping out measles. You basically have to everyone to get to herd immunity and we don't have that," said Hayes.

Hayes continued on to point out that around 66 percent of the US population is fully vaccinated, and noting that for those that are fully vaccinated, boosted, and not in immunocompromised, the risks associated with contracting the virus have gone down with the newest variant.

"Those people who are vaccinated, particularly those who are boosted you know, the risk, the personal risk of being exposed, this went from something that we hadn't really dealt with specifically like this before in our lifetimes — We haven't quite had an illness this infectious and it's possible to cause serious illness, to something that does look more like the flu and the flu, of course, can still be dangerous, kills tens of thousands of Americans every year, but we don't orient our lives around the flu," said Hayes.


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