Anthony Fauci said Sunday that there must be improvement in getting Covid tests to the American people.
“We’ve obviously got to do better,” Fauci told host Jonathan Karl on ABC’s “This Week.” “I mean, I think things will improve greatly as we get into January, but that doesn’t help us today and tomorrow.“
Fauci, President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser, said the current high demand for testing is a good sign “because we should be using testing much more extensively than we have, even in a situation where you have people who are vaccinated or boosted.“
The shortage of Covid-19 tests has occurred as the Omicron variant has caused a surge in cases over the holiday season. The variant is known to be “extraordinarily contagious,” Fauci said, though there are indications that it might not be as lethal as the Delta variant.
Fauci told Karl there were encouraging signs about severity in the data from South Africa and the United Kingdom but that it was too soon to relax one‘s guard.
“The issue that we don’t want to get complacent about, Jon, is that when you have such a high volume of new infections, it might override a real diminution in severity. So that if you have many, many, many more people with a less level of severity, that might kind of neutralize the positive effect of having less severity when you have so many more people,” Fauci said.
He also reiterated that the unvaccinated are most at-risk. “Those are the most vulnerable ones when you have a virus that is extraordinarily effective in getting to people and infecting them the way Omicron is,“ he said.