US Officials Warn of COVID BA.5 Variant Surge

    Photo: CNN

    The Facts

    • On Tues., US public health officials warned of a potential surge in COVID cases due to the highly-transmissible BA.5 Omicron subvariant - which now reportedly comprises 65% of new US cases.

    • Dr. Fauci suggested that people previously infected with prior strains of Omicron may not have optimal protection against BA.5.


    The Spin

    Narrative A

    This isn't good news - COVID's "worst variant" is here. BA.5 is the most infectious and transmissible variant seen to date. Governments have the tools, but this pandemic is nowhere near over. We need to be diligent, manage outbreaks, and care for those infected, severely ill, and who may have debilitating effects.

    Narrative B

    Catastrophizing has been extremely damaging for COVID, with multiple problems framed as "existential crises." Americans have pandemic fatigue because of relentless fear-mongering. Living in a constant state of alarm is unsustainable. It's time to move on - the next stage of pandemic governance should be one freed from the burden of alarmism.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that there will be at least 143k more confirmed deaths from COVID by the end of 2022, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


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