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US Covid Spread, Hospitalizations To Slow Down By Mid February: Dr. Fauci

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The coronavirus case numbers and hospitalizations in many U.S. states should start to show signs of turning around and begin to come down by mid February, says Chief Medical Advisor to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Addressing a Blue Star Families forum online, Dr. Fauci said, "We're dealing, as we all know, with an unprecedented outbreak with COVID-19 that continually challenges us with new variants. We've gone from the original strain through alpha, beta and delta. And now we're dealing with omicron, which is very unusual, because of this extraordinary capability of spreading so efficiently from human to human."

The United States still has a record number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and about 2,000 deaths per day from the virus, he added.

The country on Thursday reported 644814 new Covid cases, raising the national total to 69,308,600.

With 2479 additional deaths, the total number of people who died of coronavirus infection in the U.S. has risen to 860,248, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

Covid-related hospitalizations increased by 36 percent in two weeks, to 159,341.

Fauci called Covid-19 statistics stunning.

"The latest statistics are that an unvaccinated person has a 10-times greater chance of getting infected, a 17-times greater chance of getting hospitalized, and a 20-times chance of dying compared to a vaccinated person."

He noted that when people who are infected with COVID-19 get vaccinated afterward, they have an extremely high level of protection. "If someone gets vaccinated and boosted, and they get some breakthrough infection, the level of that subsequent protection is very, very high," he added.

Speaking at the Forum, Maj. Gen. Paul A. Friedrichs, command surgeon of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Defense Department is deploying an additional 500 military personnel this week to help hospitals around the country. "Another 500 military medics are also going out shortly behind that wave to help hospitals all over the country," he told the military and veteran communities.

Meanwhile, CDC's latest MMWR study finds that during the Delta wave, both vaccination and surviving a prior infection provided protection against infection and hospitalization from Covid-19.

Scientists reviewed data from New York and California to determine the level of protection offered by Covid-19 vaccines, previous infection, and both. Between May and November 2021, people who were unvaccinated and did not have a prior Covid-19 infection remained at the highest risk of infection and hospitalization, while those who were previously infected, both with or without prior vaccination, had the greatest protection.

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