Here’s what we know…
Addressing the media during a White House COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday (December 29), Dr. Anthony Fauci revealed that new data suggests Omicron was less severe than Delta.
Citing a study from the University of Edinburgh that shows hospitalization from Omicron has been two-thirds lower than Delta, Fauci said that Omicron “looks like a significant lessening of severity compared to others.”
Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor said that as the medical fraternity was getting more experience with Omicron it was becoming more apparent that infections from this variant of COVID-19 were milder. This information was relevant to combatting the latest variant as it helped authorities gauge the “seriousness of the impact on society is.”
Fauci went on to say that while there wasn’t an intention to stop counting tests –– revealing that Biden’s administration was “never going to stop counting tests” –– the administration was looking forward to a time when it would be appropriate to ‘live’ with the disease as it was unlikely it would ever be eradicated.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also confirmed that a “final conclusion about the level of severity in children, has not yet been determined,” before adding that the risk of severe disease from any variant of COVID –– including the milder Omicron –– would be higher in the unvaccinated. He then took the opportunity to encourage those who were eligible to get vaccinated and those who were eligible for a booster shot to receive it.
However, there is a caveat to the report Fauci cited in the briefing, which states that although Omicron presented with milder symptoms, those who became severely ill were at an increased risk of hospitalization and even death.