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A COVID and Omicron update with Jeremy Faust, MD

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A COVID and Omicron update with Jeremy Faust, MD

"Right now, I think that people need to understand that this virus is clearly mutating to become more contagious, and that is in its evolutionary best interest. That's what viruses…
December 12, 2021

A COVID and Omicron update with Jeremy Faust, MD

“Right now, I think that people need to understand that this virus is clearly mutating to become more contagious, and that is in its evolutionary best interest. That’s what viruses do. That is not the same thing as a virus having an advantage by making us more sick or breaking through our vaccines. There’s no advantage there. So we don’t yet know about that.

So what I really want your audience to know and to think is, do I care about infection or do I care about outcomes? Sometimes those things are totally interchangeable, like an infection is an outcome. You get infected. You have a long-term consequence. But as time goes on, I want people to really think about whether we’ve uncoupled that with our vaccines, with our therapeutics. And if we have, then we should really be watching a different set of outcome metrics.

So I want people to be willing to stand up their level of concern when something new and unknown comes along. But I want them to also be able to deescalate that when we learn more. Because look, we’ve been humbled by this many times in many directions, and I think that watching those issues in real-time and responding to the data is really our best chance to keep getting better at this.”

Jeremy Faust is an emergency physician who can be reached on Twitter @JeremyFaust and on Instagram @JeremySamuelFaust. He also publishes the newsletter, Inside Medicine.

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