During a Senate panel hearing, the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 response was scrutinized.
As the omicron form continues to generate Covid-19 infections in the United States, the Biden administration has come under scrutiny for their pandemic response and communications.
In a hearing Tuesday, Republican Senator Richard Burr, the leading member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, warned that conflicting guidance on subjects like boosters and testing has left the public unclear about how to best protect themselves.
The administration’s booster launch and the latest change to quarantine and isolation advice, according to Burr, were a “mess” and a “disaster.” “I’m not calling into question the science,” he added, “but I’m calling into question your communication techniques.” It’s no surprise that the American people are perplexed.”
Since the appearance of omicron in South Africa late last year, the United States and other nations have experienced spikes. The rapidly spreading mutant was identified as a variety of concerns by the World Health Organization in November, and it has swept across the United States since it was discovered in California on December 1.
Read more: Omicron Symptoms: What We Know So Far
In the week ending Jan. 8, Omicron accounted for 98 percent of all sequenced Covid cases in the United States, up from 95 percent the week before, according to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky’s prepared statements for the hearing. As flu season intensifies, the spike risks putting further burden on health-care systems, she warned Senate Democrats.
Although research suggests that omicron infections are less severe than those caused by other variants such as delta, Walensky believes that the new variant’s transmissibility and a high number of infections pose a risk to hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices. Other seasonal diseases, combined with omicron, could exacerbate the condition, she noted.
“These stressors will almost certainly be in addition to the continued delta variant infections and a rising burden of sickness caused by other respiratory viruses, such as influenza, which have been circulating at a higher frequency,” she said.
Officials have been keeping an eye on the spread of the variation, which can partially avoid the effects of Covid injections. Booster shots, according to research, maintain the protection provided by initial vaccination regimens.
President Joe Biden’s medical adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, Food and Drug Administration Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock, and Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell are also testifying.