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Fauci says U.S. should prepare to do anything to fight omicron variant

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Americans need to be prepared to do “anything and everything” to fight the omicron Covid variant, U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Faucisaid Sunday.

Still, it’s “too early to say” whether lockdowns or new mandates will be appropriate, Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.”

The World Health Organization last week classified omicron as a “variant of concern,” meaning it is more contagious, more virulent or more skilled at evading public health measures, vaccines and therapeutics.

The variant, first discovered in South Africa, has several mutations to the spike protein that allows the virus to enter the body, and some of those mutations could lead to increased antibody resistance and transmissibility.

The U.S. had already saidit would restrict travel for non-U.S. citizensfromSouth Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. The variant hasbeen foundin theU.K., Israel,Belgium,the Netherlands,Germany, Italy, Australia and Hong Kong, but not yet in the U.S.

“Inevitably, it will be here. The question is will we be prepared for it? If and when, and it’s going to be when, it comes here hopefully we will be ready for it,” Fauci added.

Fauci will be meeting Sunday with PresidentJoe Bidenand the Covid response team to discuss the variant and the administration’s response, a White House official said.

Biotech companies have sprung into action to fight against omicron.Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton said Sunday the vaccine makercould roll out a reformulated vaccineagainst the omicron coronavirus variant early next year. Although it’s not clear whether new formulations will be needed or if current vaccines will provide appropriate protection.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/28/fauci-says-us-should-prepare-to-do-anything-to-fight-omicron-variant.html