Headline RoundupJanuary 18th, 2022

Is the Omicron COVID-19 Surge Starting to Peak?

AllSides Summary

As the number of new COVID-19 cases begins to recede from the record highs of recent weeks, a major question is whether the surge driven by the Omicron variant is starting to subside.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported roughly 874,000 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, down considerably from the 1.34 million new cases reported several days before on Jan. 10. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said Sunday that some regions such as the Northeast are "starting to see a plateau, and in some cases, an early decline" in cases, but also said that because different areas are seeing different trends, Americans "shouldn’t expect a national peak" in the near future and that the coming weeks "will be tough."

Local news media from California to Texas to Florida are predicting an Omicron peak soon. In recent weeks, national left-rated and right-rated sources have highlighted data suggesting that Omicron is peaking in some parts of the U.S., but differences in coverage persist. Coverage from many left-rated outlets highlighted Murthy's comments, and focused on overcrowded hospitals suffering from staff shortages. Reports from right-rated sources often focused on the declining case numbers and New York's falling COVID-19 hospitalization tally. Writer Jim Geraghty (Lean Right bias) blamed Omicron's continued prevalence on the Biden administration's slow rollout of free COVID-19 tests.

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