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Tipsheet

Doctor Admits Omicron Variant Is Less Severe But Doesn't Want to Tell People

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

Dr. Richina Bicette-McCain, an emergency medicine physician, acknowledged to CNN on Wednesday the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is a milder strain but added she does not like to publicly admit it.

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CNN anchor John King said to Bicette-McCain hospitalizations and deaths are not as high compared to the increased number of COVID-19 cases and the other strains that spread across the U.S. in 2020.

"Yet it is still a challenge. What makes it different?" King asked.

"Omicron is less severe, however, I don't want to continue to push that narrative because I think that gives people a false sense of security. Cases are rising much faster, but hospitalizations and deaths are also still rising," Bicette-McCain said.

"Not only that, but we’re seeing a lot of hospital staff members, physicians, and nurses that are getting this more transmissible variant, therefore, we’re incurring staffing shortages. People who are contracting coronavirus, even if you get a mild case, that still puts you at risk for developing long-haul COVID," she continued. "Or children who contract coronavirus, even though they may do fine and don’t have any symptoms, weeks later they may develop ultra-respiratory systems. So Omicron is not the end of the story."

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Bicette-McCain said she agrees with teacher unions who have been advocating for schools to close and go back to remote learning.


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