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Omicron wave of COVID to peak by mid-February, Fauci predicts

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 1/23/2022 Shant Shahrigian

The omicron wave of coronavirus cases will peak in most of the country by mid-February, the nation’s top infectious disease expert predicted on Sunday.

The number of infections has been sharply declining in the Northeast and upper Midwest, following an alarming rise in cases since the highly contagious omicron variant was first reported in the U.S. in December, Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief White House medical advisor, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“Things are looking good. We don’t want to get overconfident, but they look like they’re going in the right direction right now,” Fauci said.

Some states in the South and West are still seeing case numbers rise, “but if the pattern follows the trend that we’re seeing in other places such as the Northeast, I believe that you will start to see a turnaround throughout the entire country,” he said.

“There may be a bit more pain and suffering with hospitalizations in those areas of the countries that have not been fully vaccinated or have not gotten boosters,” he added.


Video: Fauci platzt der Kragen (Reuters)

The country has been seeing more than 700,000 new COVID cases per day, with a daily death toll of about 2,000.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to the president, testifies before a Senate committee on the federal response to COVID-19 and emerging variants on Jan. 11, 2022 in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP) © Greg Nash Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to the president, testifies before a Senate committee on the federal response to COVID-19 and emerging variants on Jan. 11, 2022 in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to the president, testifies before a Senate committee on the federal response to COVID-19 and emerging variants on Jan. 11, 2022 in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP) (Greg Nash/)

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said once the omicron wave peaks, the level of infection should get below “what I call the area of control.”

That means the virus hasn’t been eliminated but is no longer so widespread and disruptive, he said.

“We’d like it to get down to that level where it doesn’t disrupt us, in the sense of getting back to a degree of normality,” Fauci said. “That’s the best case scenario.”

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