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Less than a week ago, doctors on the ground in South Africa — the reported origin of the Omicron variant — announced that the new variant possessed a less-lethal effect on its hosts. Still, the media overreacted.
New data released Friday detailed that as cases of Omicron in South Africa continue to go up, hospitalizations have been seeing a massive drop in numbers.
As reported by the New York Post, roughly 1.7 percent of people infected with Omicron have been sent to the hospital, compared to “19 percent in the same week of the third Delta-driven wave.”
In the U.S., the Omicron variant has been branded as a more lethal threat than Delta or the original strain. However, data continues to reinforce that Omicron’s weakened effect on a host and higher transmissibility could be a quicker path to herd immunity.
The report also cited that a combination of vaccinated citizens and those with natural immunity have helped drive down hospitalization rates.
“We are really seeing very small increases in the number of deaths,” commented Michelle Groome, an official from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.
The encouraging numbers out of South Africa come amid 40 percent of the population having at least one dose of the vaccine, compared to 60 percent of Americans that have been fully vaccinated.
On Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden delivered a speech where he warned Americans, and viewers around the world, that the rise of Omicron would lead to hospitals packed to the brim with unvaccinated patients.
“For [the] unvaccinated, we are looking at a winter of severe illness and death — the unvaccinated, for themselves, their families and the hospitals they will soon overwhelm,” Biden declared.
The Los Angeles Times also put out an op-ed titled, “How can we prevent a second winter of despair with Omicron?” where the outlet proposed additional booster shots should be allowed to mitigate the symptoms of the Omicron variant — without acknowledging the effects themselves as less than mild.
OutKick founder Clay Travis recently spoke on the fear tactics used to promote the new variant, and how the media is ignoring the reality of the new strain’s mitigated effects to advance prolonged COVID restrictions.
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Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela