BA.2 COVID-19 Variant Spreads in the US, but Experts See Minimal Cause for Alarm

Headline Roundup April 5th, 2022

The BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron COVID-19 variant now accounts for about 72% of all new cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But voices across the media spectrum say it shouldn't raise concerns about another deadly surge.

Media coverage on left and right highlights experts who say it's unlikely that BA.2 will accelerate deaths and disrupt the U.S. economy. The daily average of new COVID-19 cases was 27,573 on Monday, down 6% from two weeks ago and 96% from January's Omicron surge, according to New York Times (Lean Left bias) data. Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said last week that an uptick in cases is likely, but a surge is not. The BA.2 subvariant spreads quickly — it made up 55% of new U.S. cases last week and is causing surges in Europe and elsewhere — but evidence cited by media outlets on both sides highlight evidence suggesting that it's no more severe than other variants.

Some reports from left-rated sources also cited experts who warned that the fall could bring waning immunity and the potential for another deadlier surge. On the right, one report from Epoch Times highlighted how the Biden administration recently restricted some states from using a COVID-19 treatment deemed ineffective against BA.2, framing the move as potentially misguided.

From the Left
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The BA.2 subvariant of the omicron variant continues to rapidly spread throughout the U.S., now accounting for about 72 percent of all new Covid-19 cases, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new CDC estimate is up from about 55 percent a week ago, when the subvariant, which is thought to be more contagious than the original strain of omicron, became the dominant variant of the coronavirus circulating in the country.

Despite its spread, health experts see no cause for alarm in the U.S.

That's because there...

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From the Center
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Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Tuesday that he believes the U.S. this spring will avoid a “national wave” of infection related to the more contagious omicron BA.2 subvariant.

However, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner said on “Squawk Box” that he thinks cases are being “dramatically” underreported in some parts of the country. Given the reliance on at-home testing now, he estimated that in the Northeast, as few as one in seven or one in eight infections are actually showing up in official case counts.

“I think we’re further into this...

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From the Right
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President Joe Biden’s administration has ordered 14 additional states to stop using a COVID-19 treatment made by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said on March 30 that it has paused shipments of the drug sotrovimab to the states, bringing the total number of states that are no longer receiving doses to 22.

The states are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin in the Midwest; Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington in the West; and Alaska and Hawaii.

Previously, eight states in the Northeast U.S. stopped receiving...

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