The U.S. health director says the data on the severity of Omicron is “encouraging”

A senior US health official said that early signs of the severity of the new Omicron coronavirus variant that has spread globally are “encouraging” and that enhanced injections may provide a “considerable degree” of protection.

President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, admitted on Sunday that it is too early to know the full consequences of the new strain, but is optimistic about preliminary data. Since appearing in South Africa and Botswana less than two weeks ago, Omicron has caused serious alarm.

In an interview with CNN, he said: “Before we make any decision that is less serious than Delta Air Lines or does not cause any serious illness, we really have to be careful, but so far So far, the signal is a bit encouraging.” “It doesn’t seem to be serious enough.”

Now detected in about 40 countries and at least 15 states in the United States, Omicron was designated as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization shortly after it was discovered. This strain has an unusually high number of genetic mutations, which may mean that it is easier to spread and is more likely to bypass the protection provided by current vaccines or previous infections.

The Biden administration immediately imposed travel restrictions on eight African countries-European leaders and other countries have also implemented these measures, sparking controversy and strong condemnation from the World Health Organization, which said these measures “enhance people’s lives and Livelihood brings a heavy burden.”

Fauci said on Sunday that these bans are being reassessed “every day”, and he hopes that the United States can lift these bans “within a fairly reasonable time.”

White House Announce Additional measures were taken to stop the spread last week, including free rapid testing, extension of mask regulations on public transportation, and stricter testing requirements International travelers.

Officials have also repeatedly encouraged vaccinated Americans to get booster shots — a message that Fauci and other senior officials reiterated on Sunday.

“Boosters will be very critical in solving whether we can handle this problem,” he said. “If you get promoted… we are convinced that if the Omicron variant actually starts to dominate this country, there will be a certain degree or even a considerable degree of protection.”

Rochelle Varensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urged people to be vaccinated and take preventive measures, but did not support the implementation of the national mask requirement.

“I would rather see people get vaccinated, boost immunizations and follow our recommendations. I would rather do this without asking,” she told ABC News. “People should do this for themselves.”

Economic policymakers have also expressed concerns about the new variants. Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell warned last week that this could exacerbate supply chain disruptions, which have helped push U.S. inflation to its highest level in 30 years.

Cleveland Federal Reserve Chairman Loretta Mester (Loretta Mester), Tell The British “Financial Times” said on Thursday that this may also exacerbate the shortage of workers, which hinders a faster recovery of the labor market.U.S. job growth Slowed down Significantly last month, only 210,000 positions were created. This is less than half of the October rate, and it is far below economists’ expectations.

Despite the potential Omicron risk, the Fed seems ready It accelerated its withdrawal from the stimulus plan at this month’s policy meeting because it took a more aggressive anti-inflation stance and provided itself with the flexibility to raise interest rates earlier next year.

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