The omicron variant might reach its peak by February, a sign that the recent wave is “going in the right direction,” according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser on the coronavirus.

The news: Fauci said on ABC “This Week” over the weekend that he is “as confident as you can be” that most states will hit their omicron peak by the end of February.

  • “You never want to be overconfident when you’re dealing with this virus,” he said.
  • He said the coronavirus has “surprised us in the past.”
  • “Things are looking good. We don’t want to get overconfident, but they look like they’re going in the right direction right now,” he said.

Yes, but: “There may be a bit more pain and suffering with hospitalizations in those areas of the country that have not been fully vaccinated or have not gotten boosters,” he warned.

Flashback: Fauci’s comments align with recent remarks from Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, who said on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that people could return to the office by the end of February.

  • “Yeah, I think that’s timeline still intact, you’re seeing a lot of businesses make decisions to do, return to work March 1st because I think they want to give themselves a cushion, especially having been surprised before,” Gottlieb said.
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The bigger picture: New COVID-19 cases continue to drop nationally, which is the biggest sign that the omicron wave might be heading toward a conclusion, according to The New York Times.

  • “Even as hopeful data points emerge, the threat has by no means passed. The United States continues to identify far more infections a day than in any prior surge, and some states in the West, South and Great Plains are still seeing sharp increases.
  • “Many hospitals are full. And deaths continue to mount, with more than 2,100 announced most days.”
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