Bill Gates sees hope on the horizon for ComiD’s omicron variant, which is currently spreading at a record-breaking pace in the U.S. and other parts of the world.
According to CNBC, Gates wrote on Tuesday that countries can expect to see “far fewer cases” through the rest of 2022 once the current surge abates.
Gates disclosed the latter while speaking Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, on a Twitter Q&A session with Gates.
Gates continued by saying, once that occurs, Covid will probably be treated more like seasonal flu.
It is not the first time Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has made similar predictions.
It is possible that Omicron’s rapid spread might imbue enough people with so-called “natural immunity” to ease Covid’s transition to a lesser endemic phase.
In his Twitter Q&A, Gates predicted, “omicron will create a lot of immunity, at least for the next year.”
Nonetheless, timing is crucial; Keeping enough of the country susceptible to Covid immunity, whether vaccine-induced or unvaccinated, could slow the virus’ spread enough to transition it into an endemic situation.
Gates added that when Covid becomes endemic, “we may have to take yearly shots for Covid for some time” — like taking flu shots every year.
A record number of 1.5 million Covid cases were reported in the United States on Monday, along with a record number of hospitalizations.
The current wave of omicron cases in the U.S. will peak by the end of January, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Joe Biden’s top medical advisor.
Meanwhile, last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the number of cases is expected to drop precipitously once omicron has passed.
The health care system in the U.S. will likely be ravaged between now and then by Omicron.
As Gates noted in his conversation with Sridhar, unvaccinated people will continue to suffer from “the most severe cases” of Covid until omicron recedes.
As a result of omicron’s high transmissibility, he predicted that health systems around the world will continue to face challenges.
It’s also possible that a new Covid variant could emerge on the heels of omicron, and if it is more severe or more transmissible than other variants to date, crises could become more serious.
According to the billionaire, the scenario is unlikely – but certainly not out of the question.
“A more transmissive variant is not likely,” Gates said on Twitter, “but we have been surprised a lot during this pandemic.”