Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said on Friday the U.S. should anticipate an increase in coronavirus cases from the BA.2 variant (the omicron subvariant) but it may not lead to as severe a surge in hospitalizations or deaths.
“I would not be surprised if, in the next few weeks, we see somewhat of either a flattening of our diminution or maybe even an increase,” Fauci said on ABC News’ Brad Mielke on the podcast “Start Here.”
Fauci based his conclusions on conversations with colleagues in the UK and he noted the pandemic trajectory in the U.S. follows Great Britain by nearly three weeks. He said that despite in “blip” in cases in the UK “their intensive care bed usage is not going up, which means they’re not seeing a blip up of severe disease.”
Fauci said people who have been fully vaccinated but not boosted face a stronger possibility of reinfection from the coronavirus that could lead to hospitalization and severe disease because of waning immunity. However, Fauci agrees with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky that elderly people will need a second booster shot in the near future.
Fauci urged people who haven’t been boosted to do so to prevent a return to mandatory mask-wearing in public.