The new omicron coronavirus variant will reach the United State soon enough, said Dr. Anthony Fauci in an interview Sunday.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the omicron variant will “inevitably” hit the U.S.

  • “We all know when you have a virus that has already gone to multiple countries, inevitably it will be here,” he said. “The question is, will we be prepared for it?”
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Fauci said people can prepare themselves for the omicron variant’s arrival by getting vaccinated since the vaccine will likely work to stop severe outcomes.

  • “We are on the lookout for this. The CDC has a good surveillance system,” Fauci said. “So, if and when — and it is going to be when — it comes here, hopefully, we will be ready for it by enhancing our capabilities via the vaccine, masking, all the things that we do and should be doing.”

In a similar move, Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, told CNN on Sunday that getting the vaccine is your best bet to stay safe from the new variant.

  • “We have to use every kind of tool in our toolbox to keep (omicron) from getting in a situation that makes this worse,” he said.

Collins said mitigation efforts are needed, too, to stop the spread of the variant.

  • “It also means we need to pay attention to those mitigation strategies that people are just really sick of, like wearing masks while indoors with other people who might not be vaccinated and keeping that social distance issue,” he added. “I know, America — you’re really tired of hearing those things. But the virus is not tired of us. And it’s shapeshifting itself.”