Boston-area wastewater data keeps plunging, while stealth omicron variant BA.2 could ‘slow down’ COVID drop

Jan 31, 2022

A new more contagious stealth omicron variant BA.2 that’s already circulating in the U.S. could “slow down” the rapid drop in COVID-19 cases, a former FDA commissioner said on Sunday.

But ex-FDA chief Scott Gottlieb emphasized that people who have been infected by the original omicron variant should be protected from BA.2, and that the previous omicron surge will help limit this new variant.

“If you had omicron infection, you should have protection against subsequent infection from this new variant,” Gottlieb said on CBS’ Face The Nation. “That’s why I don’t think this is going to create a huge wave of infection.

“What’s likely to happen is as we were coming down, and coming down quite sharply in parts of the Northeast, Florida, the mid-Atlantic, you might see as this new strain starts to pick up, you might see that we start to slow down in that decline, but the decline will happen nonetheless,” he said.

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