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First Case of Omicron Variant in USA is in California, with Person Experiencing 'Mild Symptoms'

AP Photo/David Goldman, File

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Wednesday said in a statement that the first case of what has been dubbed the omicron variant has been confirmed in the United States, in San Francisco, California, to be exact. "The individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22, 2021. The individual had mild symptoms that are improving, is self-quarantining and has been since testing positive. All close contacts have been contacted and have tested negative," the statement read.

"OmicronVarient" was trending over Twitter on Wednesday, as was "California," with some users pointing out that perhaps the Biden administration will ban travel from California, just as the administration did when it comes to eight African countries in response to the variant. 

The travel ban was announced last Friday and went into effect this Monday. Biden went  with such a travel ban despite how he had previously called then President Donald Trump "xenophobic" for issuing such a travel ban from China in response to the Wuhan coronavirus.

The infected individual was vaccinated, but had not had a booster. The CDC as well as those such as Drs. Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins and the Biden administration is using the variant as a reason to promote people get vaccinated and get their booster.

A joint statement from the California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health shared similar details as the CDC statement mentioned above, and also stressed the following: "We must remain vigilant against this variant, but it is not a cause for panic."

Even Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), who just recently used his executive powers, yet again, to extend the state of emergency, yet again, over COVID, said on Wednesday that "there’s more panic than information around this variant." About lockdowns, he said "I don’t want to see that happen. And I see no indication at this moment whatsoever that that’s in our immediate future."

The statements from the CDC as well as California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health indicate what we already know, that "mild symptoms" are involved. Over the weekend, I covered remarks that Dr. Angelique Coetzee, the South African doctor who informed the country's vaccine advisory committee, shared with The Telegraph. Dr. Coetzee indicated that the symptoms were "so different" and "so mild."

Katie has since reported on Dr. Coetzee writing in the Daily Mail that she was "stunned" by the overreaction. "Above all, don’t panic – and that goes for governments as well," Coetzee wrote in part.

Dr. Fauci, meanwhile, has been fear mongering on the variant even while experts say to not panic. Just earlier on Wednesday, Fauci gave a press conference that was at times cagey and unhelpfully vague. 

CNN will also be airing a town hall with Dr. Fauci on Wednesday night.

As Katie reported, President Joe Biden is expected Thursday to announce new testing requirements for all individuals entering the country through an official port of entry. As she highlighted, though, there will not be announcements when it comes to immigrants illegally crossing over. As the clip above demonstrates, Fauci inartfully referred to it as "a different issue." 

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