Don't be surprised if a new variant emerges this winter: Fauci

A new COVID-19 variant could pop up in the coming months, as winter poses a risk for an uptick in respiratory illnesses, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an Oct. 4 interview with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism.

"We should anticipate that we very well may get another variant that would emerge that would elude the immune response that we've gotten from infection and/or from vaccination," Dr. Fauci said. 

Dr. Fauci said the U.S. is currently moving "in the right direction," as cases are down 13.1 percent as of Sept. 30. However, a forecast from Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic projects cases will jump 10.5 percent by Oct. 12.

As Dr. Fauci plans to step down from his role as director in December, he reflected on what he would've done differently in the early stages of the pandemic: "I probably should have tried to be much, much more careful in getting the message to repeat the uncertainty of what we’re going through."

 

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