Fauci: Focus on COVID Hospitalizations, Not Number of Cases

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said recently that people should “focus on the hospitalizations” due to COVID-19, and not “the total number of cases.”

Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious disease, told ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that “As you get further on and the infections become less severe, it is much more relevant to focus on the hospitalizations as opposed to the total number of cases.”

Johns Hopkins University reported on Monday that the U.S. daily number of reported infectious has surpassed 1 million as the omicron variant, which is thought to be more contagious but less severe than other variants, spreads in the U.S.

“Given the large number of cases we have not seen a concomitant increase in the relative percentage of hospitalizations, but again, hospitalizations are often late-lagging indicators,” Fauci told ABC.

He noted that “when you have multi-multi-multi-fold more people getting infected then that amount means you’re still gonna get a lot of people that are gonna be needing hospitalization, and that’s the reason why we’re concerned about stressing and straining the hospital system.”

“One of the things we hope for is that this thing will peak after a period of a few weeks and turn around,” he added. “We’ve seen that happen in South Africa.”

Fauci recommended vaccination, booster shots, and mask-wearing to “help to blunt a surge even as pronounced as the omicron surge.”

He said, “I’m still very concerned about the tens of millions of people who are not vaccinated at all because even though many of them are going to get asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic, a fair number of them are going to get severe disease.”