Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday stated that the Biden administration anticipated COVID-19 to mutate however have been unprepared for the “extent of mutations” discovered within the Omicron variant.
The White Home chief medical advisor responded to feedback final week from Vice President Kamala Harris, who stated that scientists advising the administration did not see the Omicron or Delta variants “coming.”
“We actually have been anticipating that there have been going to be variants as a result of we’ve so many viruses, a lot replication occurring locally,” Fauci informed CNN anchor Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
“When you give a virus sufficient alternative to copy, you realize, it’s going to finally mutate and generally these mutations wind up being a brand new variant and that’s precisely what occurred with Delta and definitely that’s what occurred with Omicron.”
However he stated they have been much less ready for the shape that the brand new variants would take.
“What was not anticipated was the extent of the mutations and the amino acid substitutions in Omicron, which is de facto unprecedented. It type of got here out of nowhere,” Fauci stated.
Fauci famous that Omicron has 50 mutations from the unique coronavirus, largely within the spike protein, the half of the virus that binds to cells.
“To me, that’s actually fairly unprecedented in order that’s one thing you’d not have anticipated,” Fauci stated.
Because the administration makes an attempt to sort out the Omicron variant, Fauci stated that fast at-home COVID-19 exams will must be extra extensively accessible.
“We actually need to flood the system with testing. We must have exams accessible for anybody who desires them significantly extra in a scenario proper now when persons are going to be gathering,” Fauci stated.
“Despite the fact that they’re vaccinated and boosted, they might need to go that additional step that additional mile.”