"Pandemic" may soon become a word of the past.
While it's still too early to predict whether Omicron's global spread will assist in pushing coronavirus from the pandemic phase to the endemic phase, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, per CNN, he's hopeful.
"That would only be the case if we don't get another variant that eludes the immune response to the prior variant," Fauci told the Davos Agenda, a virtual event this week held by the World Economic Forum.
The possibility of the coronavirus pandemic entering the endemic phase, which means the virus is more manageable with greater population immunity, has been the talk of the science community since scientists found that the latest COVID variant, the highly transmissible Omicron, was less likely to cause severe illness as seen in previous variants.
"We were fortunate" that Omicron did not share some of the same characteristics as Delta, Fauci said, per the outlet. "But the sheer volume of people who are getting infected overrides that rather less level of pathogenicity." He added, "It is an open question as to whether or not Omicron is going to be the live virus vaccination that everyone is hoping for because you have such a great deal of variability with new variants emerging," he said.
Fauci's statements came as health care systems reported treating a record number of Covid-19 patients. As reported by CNN, at least 156,676 Covid-19 patients in the US were hospitalized Monday, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. And an average of 1,695 Americans died from Covid-19 every day over the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.