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The Omicron Threat Don’t Signify January 3, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
1 comment so far

Herr Fauci opines on the Omicron threat:

White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said Sunday that hospitalizations are a better guide to determining the severity of the highly infectious omicron variant of COVID-19 than case counts.

He did still warn that even though many unvaccinated individuals are going to get asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic cases, a “fair number” of the “tens of millions of people” who have not received any COVID shot are going to come down with severe coronavirus cases.

Fauci went on to say, “As you get further on and the infections become less severe, it is much more relevant to focus on the hospitalizations as opposed to the total number of cases.”

So let’s look at the hospitalization story, shall we? Here’s the CDC’s graph of people who are hospitalized who also have a confirmed COVID infection:

Wow – the rate is skyrocketing right now. But as so many, many people have pointed out (including, finally, Fauci himself) this statistic is meaningless, since it includes people who are mildly symptomatic or even asymptomatic. What everybody really wants to know is: How many hospital admissions are because of COVID?

And here’s your answer, courtesy of COVID-NET, which is a relatively small survey of 250 hospitals. Large enough survey to capture trends, though. COVID-NET only counts patients who are hospitalized because of COVID, so that’s the stat we really want. And here’s the CDC’s plot of that data:

Apologies for the ridiculous aspect ratio of the plot. I could have downloaded the data and replotted it, but, well, . . .

Anyway, you can see a precipitous dive in hospitalizations over the past two weeks. Could be Christmas-related, though you didn’t see the same thing in last year’s data. But the simultaneous rise in the COVID rate in hospitals (the upper graph) combined with the drop in COVID-caused hospitalizations (lower graph) likely means that:

==> A ridiculous number of people are catching Omicron, but the cases are so mild they don’t require medical treatment <==

So by Fauci’s recommended metric, we’re gonna be just fine.