Bill Gates said he called off his holiday plans as the omicron variant ushers in what he predicts could be the “worst part of the pandemic.” He also predicted, however, that the current surge in COVID-19 cases could be over within months, and the pandemic itself may end next year “if we take the right steps.”
“Just when it seemed like life would return to normal, we could be entering the worst part of the pandemic,” he tweeted on Tuesday. “Omicron will hit home for all of us. Close friends of mine now have it, and I’ve canceled most of my holiday plans.”
In his thread, Gates said the omicron outbreak could be the worst so far in the pandemic because of how quickly it spreads. He urged people to wear masks, avoid large indoor crowds and get the COVID-19 booster shot. “Omicron is spreading faster than any virus in history,” he tweeted. “It will soon be in every country in the world.”
Health professionals agree with Gates, saying the U.S. may see a record number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as omicron circulates more quickly than other variants. Government officials are creating a website where people can order at-home virus tests and are working to send out hundreds of millions of tests.
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