Fauci says Omicron ‘might be less severe’

During the White House COVID-19 response team briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the Omicron variant “might be less severe” in terms of symptoms. He warned that it’s too early to determine the precise severity of Omicron and that the data is preliminary.

Video Transcript

ANTHONY FAUCI: It's too early to be able to determine the precise severity of disease. But inklings that we are getting-- and we must remember these are still in the form of anecdotal, but hopefully, in the next few weeks, we'll get a much clearer picture-- but it appears that, with the cases that are seen, we are not seeing a very severe profile of disease. In fact, it might be-- and I underscore might-- be less severe, as shown by the ratio of hospitalizations per number of new cases.

However, this could be influenced by the fact that many in this particular cohort are young individuals. The hospital stay seems to be less, and the use of supplemental oxygen needs to be less. Again, I caution you, these are still preliminary.