Symptoms of the omicron variant are “mild” so far, but the West is still “concerned.” Some are criticizing it as hysteria and overreactions.
According to Dr. Angelique Coetzee, the chair of the South African Medical Association, the symptoms exhibited by those infected with the omicron variant are “extremely mild” so far.
- Dr. Coetzee said she “consulted with other doctors” in South Africa and their consensus was that serious symptoms have not been presented but that the situation “might change.”
- The omicron variant, according to Coetzee “won’t affect people who are fully vaccinated.”
- Coetzee also raised concerns about omicron’s effect on “older people with underlying conditions.” (This is the same concern for the virus as a whole, it is not unique to omicron)
- The travel ban for travelers from South Africa and other nations from the region was also criticized by Dr. Coetzee and called “premature.”
- Huffington Post ran an AP wire report in which the acknowledgement of a lack of data on the variant and uncertainty over whether omicron variant is responsible for an “exponential rise” in cases in South Africa was couched in fear and alarmism.
- Newsweek reported on Dr. Coetzee’s anecdotal findings, noting “her patients were all healthy” and highlighted Dr. Anthony Fauci’s TV appearances in which he pronounced the omicron variant is likely already in the United States.
- Vox, known for its explainer journalism, turned the hype dial to 11, saying that “while it will take scientists weeks” to get a handle on the science behind the variant, the “mutations on the spike protein” sound the alarm it “could both be more transmissible” and “evade immunity already conferred by vaccines.”
- Fox News reported on largely the same facts and quotes from Dr. Coetzee that symptoms are far milder, and highlighted criticism from the South African government over the travel bans.
- RedState framed Dr. Coetzee’s comments as reason to not overreact to the new variant’s emergence, saying the Biden administration “reacted in a chaotic fashion”, criticizing Fauci and other for “causing panic.”
- The New York Post also noted Coetzee’s comments in their reporting and in a separate Editorial Board opinion, again called for the resignation of Dr. Fauci for his uneven recommendations, saying he encourages “the most draconian lockdowns” on Americans but refuses to “inconvenience” “a small number of foreign visitors.”
© Dallas Gerber, 2021