• The infectious disease expert raised concerns about unvaccinated people
  • Fauci warned against getting complacent as the Omicron variant spreads
  • Pediatric hospitalizations have increased in the U.S. in the past week

The nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has said that COVID-19 cases will likely increase around the world as the Omicron variant continues to spread. The White House’s medical advisor also raised concerns about the variant’s impact on unvaccinated individuals.

During an interview on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” Fauci said cases continue to increase, indicating a possible rising trend.

“Every day, it goes up and up – the last weekly average was about 150,000, and it likely will go much higher,” he pointed out. Fauci said it is not the time to “get complacent” as the Omicron variant is driving the increase of COVID-19 cases worldwide.

When asked about the Omicron variant’s contagious nature, Fauci said that “there’s one thing that’s for sure that we all agree upon, that it is extraordinarily contagious,” adding that the said variant “outstripped even the most contagious of the previous ones, including Delta.”

The expert also expressed concern about the medical circle’s worries over unvaccinated people as the omicron variant continues to spread. “We’re particularly worried about those who are in that unvaccinated class. Those are the most vulnerable ones when you have a virus that is extraordinarily effective in getting to people and infecting them the way omicron is,” he said.

There has also been an increase in pediatric hospitalizations across the U.S. as the Omicron variant spreads. About 800 children were admitted for three days last week, with many of the pediatric admissions logged in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas, The Washington Post reported.

Pediatric infectious disease specialist Claudia Hoyen said from Cleveland’s University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital that “with Omicron, we are now having this new surge on top of what was left over from delta.” Many young Americans are still unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, the surge of Omicron coronavirus cases in the United States has forced airlines to cancel flights as cabin crew and pilots are required to undergo quarantine, Reuters reported. Poor weather also affected flights.

On Sunday, 1,318 flights were canceled over a lack of crew members during the holidays, hampering holiday plans for many Americans. A tally from flight-tracking website showed that the flights were canceled both into, out, and within the United States by mid-afternoon Sunday.

As part of the efforts to curb the surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, President Joe Biden announced new measures to hopefully contain omicron. The administration also urged vaccinations and prevention measures.

The United States has so far reported 52,280,854 coronavirus cases and 816,609 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Generally positive US economic data and receding Omicron fears cheered investors
Generally positive US economic data and receding Omicron fears cheered investors AFP / Frederic J. BROWN