Fauci Predicts COVID-19 Cases Will Rise Again Soon Because of New BA.2 Variant, No Mask Mandates
Experts fear that COVID-19 cases in the U.S. will rise in the next coming weeks as the new BA.2 variant continues to spread.
Data from the CDC shows BA.2, which is a subvariant of Omicron, has been tripling in prevalence every two weeks. As of the week ending March 11, BA.2 makes up 23.1% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. compared to 7.1% of all cases the week ending Feb. 26, according to the CDC.
“I would expect that we might see an uptick in cases here in the United States because, only a week or so ago, the CDC came out with their modification of the metrics for what would be recommended for masking indoors, and much of the country right now is in that zone, where masking indoors is not required,” Fauci told ABC affiliate KGTV on Wednesday (March 16).
Several European countries—such as Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom—have reported a rise in COVID-19 cases over the last couple of weeks.
“We Need More”: Fauci Says They Need More Than $22.5 Billion for COVID-19 Response
Fauci said in an interview aired on Thursday (March 17) that officials need more than the $22.5 billion that the White House originally requested from Congress for the COVID-19 response.
NBC’s Miguel Almaguer noted to Fauci that the billions of dollars requested by the White House was a “hefty price tag,” asking if all the money was needed.
“I have to tell you, we need more than that,” Fauci answered.
“We will not be able to do the kind of research to address the inevitable next variant if we don’t get the funding that we’re talking about.”
Europe’s COVID-19 Spike Has Fauci Spooked, Says It Could Lead to Return of Masks
The rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe, particularly in the UK, is prompting urgent conversations among senior Biden health aides about the potential of the U.S. experiencing another wave this spring, according to three senior officials familiar with the matter.
However, COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are at an eight-month low.
“You’ve got to at least be prepared that we may see something similar here with some differences, because there’s always differences,” said Fauci. “We’ve got to not ignore it. We’ve got to monitor it very carefully.”
In recent days, officials from the White House and the CDC have met to simulate how the administration will respond if COVID-19 cases begin to rise drastically, according to the officials.