Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist NY governor declares state of emergency to prepare for omicron US to restrict travel from eight African nations over new COVID-19 concerns MORE said on Sunday that the omicron COVID-19 variant will “inevitably” hit the United States, noting that it has already been detected in several other countries.
During an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” anchor George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosHarris says 2024 is ‘absolutely not’ being discussed yet with Biden Harris says she doesn’t feel underused in Biden administration The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Gosar censured as GOP drama heightens MORE asked Fauci if the newly detected variant had been detected by officials in the U.S.
“No, we have not, George, and we have a pretty good surveillance system. But, as we all know, when you have a virus that has already gone to multiple countries, inevitably it will be here,” Fauci, who serves as President BidenJoe BidenGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Five House members meet with Taiwanese president despite Chinese objections Sunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist MORE’s chief medical adviser, answered.
“Inevitably, it will be here. The question is will we be prepared for it?”
Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist NY governor declares state of emergency to prepare for omicron US to restrict travel from eight African nations over new COVID-19 concerns MORE tells @GStephanopoulos that “if and when, and it’s going to be when,” the omicron variant reaches the U.S., health protocols should be “revved up.” https://t.co/cBo22ICrUo pic.twitter.com/AMzK01rlFK
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 28, 2021
Fauci also argued during the interview that travel restrictions imposed by the Biden administration and other countries could buy nations time to better respond to omicron, which the World Health Organization called a “variant of concern” last week.
“Travel bans, when you have a highly transmissible virus, never completely would … prevent it from coming into the country. No way that’s going to happen,” Fauci said.
“But what you can do is you can delay it enough to get us better prepared. And that’s the thing that people need to understand. If you’re going to do the travel ban the way we’ve done now and that we’re implementing right now, utilize the time that you’re buying to fill in the gaps,” he added.
The director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” that it will take weeks for scientists to understand how effective COVID-19 vaccines are at protecting against the new variant.
“So if you’ve raised antibodies against [COVID-19] from previously being infected or from being vaccinated, the question is, will those antibodies still stick to this version of the spike protein, or will they evade that protection? We need to find that out, to be honest, though that’s gonna take two, three weeks in both laboratory and field studies to figure out the answer. And that’s what all of us as scientists want to know,” Collins said.
Updated at 10:42 a.m.