The new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus immediately started to worry scientists. They still struggle to fully understand the danger behind the new strain, and among these experts, there is also Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dr. Walensky spoke in an interview for CNN about the new Omicron variant of COVID, as well as about the more common Delta variant. Shee was interviewed by CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The CDC director says that the majority of the new COVID cases from the US are still of the older Delta variant, and she added the following:
We have so many more tools now to address variants than we did a year ago, but I do want to highlight what was said at the top which is we now have about 86,000 cases of Covid right now in the United States being diagnosed daily, and 99.9% of them, the vast majority of them, continue to be Delta.
But no, this doesn’t mean that we must take the pandemic lightly. Vaccination and wearing masks remain good ideas in the expert’s view, including receiving booster doses for those who are eligible.
When the Director was asked if there is evidence that Omicron will become a dominant strain and if she is concerned about the possibility, she responded:
You know, it might and we don’t yet know. What we do know is that early data, and even mutation data, are telling us that this may well be a more transmissible variant than Delta.
She added that more time is needed “to sort out”, and that the scientists are prepared. They’re doing genomic sequencing across the states.
According to data brought by worldometers.info, the USA is at less than 110,000 cases away from reporting a total number of 50 million COVID infections since the start of the pandemic.
Feel free to read the full interview with Dr. Walensky on CNN’s website!