Fauci says "the Omicron coronavirus variant will infect almost everyone"
The nation's leading infectious disease expert said some of those infected who are not vaccinated will die.
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On Tuesday, Jan. 11, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said that "the Omicron coronavirus variant will infect almost everyone, regardless of their vaccination status."
"Omicron, with its extraordinary and unprecedented degree of transmissibility efficiency, will eventually find almost everyone," Fauci told J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Fauci also said at a Senate hearing that the unvaccinated are 20 times more likely to die, 17 times more likely to be hospitalized and 10 times more likely to be infected than people who are fully vaccinated.
"Those who are not yet vaccinated are going to bear the brunt of the serious aspect of this," he said. "And even if it's less severe on a case-by-case basis, when quantitatively there are that many people infected, a portion of them ... are going to die."
Fauci's comments came in response to a question about whether the pandemic has entered a new phase. The expert's response was that "we may be on the threshold of that right now."
Omicron continues to grow
Infections from the Omicron variant have grown worldwide in the first days of 2022, so authorities are seeking to promote vaccinations while working to strengthen prevention and early detection of cases.
The White House pledged to provide 10 million free coronavirus tests each month for schools to help maintain in-person school.
Similarly, President Joe Biden has pressed schools to open and stay open, considering the academic and socio-emotional damage caused by remote learning, as well as the political risks among frustrated parents who yearn for normalcy and fully-functioning schools.
In the United States, at least one in five eligible Americans, approximately 65 million people, are not vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 62% of the country has been fully vaccinated, but only 23% are fully vaccinated and have a booster, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).