Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted that the United States's management of COVID-19 needs to be better and said vaccine mandates for air travel could be an effective way of increasing vaccination rates.
Fauci stated that "anything" to get more people vaccinated would be welcome during an interview on ABC’s This Week.
“A vaccine requirement for a person getting on the plane is just another level of getting people to have a mechanism that would spur them to get vaccinated,” Fauci said.
Fauci acknowledged how contagious the COVID-19 omicron variant appears in comparison to previous variants.
“We’ve got to do better,” Fauci said. “I think things will improve greatly as we get into January, but that doesn’t help us today and tomorrow.”
In October, the Biden administration ruled that all companies, including airlines, with federal contracts must have a vaccinated staff. Since then, it has declined implementation of a mandate for all domestic air travelers despite Democratic lawmakers sending a letter urging just that on Nov. 11. Foreign travelers coming to the U.S., however, are required to show proof of vaccination.
Doctors in India reported that the omicron variant symptoms do not include a loss of taste or smell and usually require routine cold-like treatment.
DOCTORS: OMICRON SYMPTOMS ARE MOSTLY COLD-LIKE
“Even though we’re pleased by the evidence from multiple countries, it looks like there is a lesser degree of severity, we’ve got to be careful that we don’t get complacent about that,” Fauci said. “It might lead to a lot of hospitalizations in the United States."
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Despite the milder symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned that the omicron variant may spread faster than delta did and better evade vaccines.