The Centers for Disease Control has announced that it will take over some surveillance powers from the Transportation Security Administration in order to combat overseas introduction of the Omicron variant of the COVID virus into the United States at airports, reported Epoch Times.
But some experts, including those in South Africa where the variant was first discovered, are saying the reaction to the Omicron variant is overblown and may prove effective only at helping politicians and bureaucrats.
“Many of the prescriptions imposed by Washington and the state capitals may have inflicted needless damage while doing little real good against the virus,” noted Holman W. Jenkins in the Wall Street Journal, “but they proved shockingly successful at reproducing (to use a verb favored by political scientists) their own political power.”
Decoding the Omicron Panic. Covid overkill is bad for everybody except the politicians. https://t.co/f7ZbpH2NHD
— Alberto Piergiorgi (@albertopier) December 1, 2021
“This program allows for increased COVID testing for specific international arrivals,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said, “increasing our capacity to identify those with COVID-19 on arrival to the United States and enhancing our surveillance for the Omicron variant.”
Others caution that the gambit may backfire.
“Doctors treating Omicron patients in South Africa were saying the variant presents with such mild symptoms that the hype makes no sense at all,” said Kim Iversen of the Hill.
“One of the problems that people will run into is, how often can [health officials] cry wolf and still get the public to react,” said Dr. Michael Blaivas, chief medical officer of Anavasi Diagnostics, to The New York Post.
According to previous reporting by CNN, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, each major international arrival points in the United States, will be subject to advanced testing for Covid through the CDC XpresCheck testing.
“The Biden administration imposed new restrictions on travel from eight southern African countries, including South Africa, late last week,” reported CNN.
The first case of the Omicron variant of the virus in the U.S. was discovered in California, according to CBS News. However, the CDC’s Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned that the Omicron virus variant may already be widespread in the United States.
“As we all know, when you have a virus that has already gone to multiple countries, inevitably, it will be here,” said Fauci according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, as the viral doctor warned about a fifth wave of COVID hitting the U.S.