San Francisco, Nov 28 (EFE).- The Joe Biden administration’s top adviser on medical questions, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Sunday that it is “inevitable” that the newly discovered Omicron Covid-19 variant will get to the United States and urged that the country be prepared when that occurs.
Fauci in an interview with ABC’s “This Week” said he “would not be surprised” if the Omicron variant has already entered the US, adding that “Inevitably, it will be here.”
Urging unvaccinated people to get the jab, Fauci said that everyone knows that when a virus has arrived in many countries already, “inevitably it will be here” in the US, but he noted that the question is whether or not the country will be prepared for that to occur.
Fauci also said that the US must be ready to do everything it possibly can to halt the advance of this new coronavirus variant, which presents an amalgam of more than 30 mutations, although he added that it is still too early to determine if new lockdowns will need to be implemented.
The Omicron variant, which was identified last week in South Africa, has already been detected in Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, Austria, Israel, Australia and Hong Kong.
Fauci also told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the behavior of the Omicron variant “strongly suggests” that it is easily transmitted and that immunity protection obtained by previous infection or vaccination might not be enough to keep people from getting sick.
“It’s not necessarily that that’s going to happen, but it’s a strong indication that we really need to be prepared for that,” Fauci said, adding that the variant “just kind of exploded” in South Africa.
The US government will impose restrictions starting on Monday on travelers who, within the past 14 days, have been in South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland.
The restrictions will not affect US citizens or permanent residents or their spouses.
In addition, the State Department has issued a Level 4 alert in which it recommends that Americans not travel to the eight African nations in question.