Fauci says he doesn’t expect more travel restrictions even if the Omicron variant turns out to be more contagious and deadly – .

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Fauci says he doesn’t expect more travel restrictions even if the Omicron variant turns out to be more contagious and deadly – .


President Joe Biden announced last week that the United States would restrict travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi in response to the new variant of potentially more transmissible coronavirus first identified by South African scientists. Several other countries have followed suit, limiting travel from southern African countries.

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked him on Monday if he expected more travel restrictions if Omicron turned out to be more contagious and deadly, Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, replied: “I don’t think so, Jake . “

“I think what was done about the restrictions imposed by South Africa and neighboring countries was simply because when the information was released on the molecular makeup of this virus with all the mutations of concern, we felt that we needed to do something right away, “Fauci, longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Tapper on” The Lead. “

“I hope these restrictions won’t last very long until we find out what’s going on. But we do not foresee any further restrictions, ”he added.

Fauci also said the travel restrictions won’t have much of an impact “overall as to whether (the Omicron variant) gets here or not.”
“But… it might give us a few weeks to better prepare,” he added.

Fauci said U.S. health officials should know the severity of Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant in about a week or two, and get their information from their counterparts in South Africa, with whom officials were in almost constant contact.

“They have a number of patients they follow in medical facilities, and they’ve assured us that they’ll probably know in a week, a week and a half whether or not we’re dealing with something. which, for the most part, is more serious, equally serious or less serious. It could be one or the other, ”Fauci said. “At the moment, it doesn’t look like there is a big signal of a high degree of seriousness, but it’s too early to tell. “

It is not known whether Omicron will become the dominant strain in the United States, but this is another reason authorities are closely monitoring cases in South Africa.

“You know, it’s unfortunate that South Africa has been sort of the epicenter, or at least a recognition of it, but the good news is that they’re as good as they can get when it comes to the scientists and public health officials, then they’re going to be able to give us some very important information, hopefully within a week or two, ”Fauci said.

In the meantime, he told Tapper, “the unvaccinated need to be vaccinated and those who are eligible for the booster should be reinforced because we know from experience… that even with variants that are not specifically targeted by vaccine, such as the Delta variant, if you get a high enough antibody level, the protection extends to these other variants. “

Earlier Monday, Biden urged Americans not to panic over the new variant and encouraged those who have yet to receive a recall but are eligible to do so.

“We have the best vaccine in the world, the best drugs, the best scientists, and we are learning more every day. And we will fight this variant with scientific and knowledgeable actions and speed – not chaos and confusion, ”said the president.

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