The United States will likely regularly hit 1 million new COVID cases a day as the omicron wave peaks, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday -- but the crest of the wave and a reduction in cases may only be a couple of weeks away.
"It’s still surging upward. We had about 745,000 cases yesterday. I would not be surprised at all if we go over a million cases per day," Fauci told News 4 in an interview.
But just as the omicron surge peaked quickly and then dropped sharply in places like South Africa, the president's chief medical advisor said relief could come soon to the U.S. as well - not necessarily on the same trajectory, but relief nonetheless.
"I would hope -- I can’t predict accurately, because no one can -- but I would hope that by the time we get to the fourth week in January --- end of the third week, beginning of the fourth week – that we will start see this coming down," Fauci said.
Fauci's comments align with those from CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier Friday the omicron wave hasn't peaked yet.
But though case counts are rising nationally, there are some very early signs that things may be peaking locally. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said earlier Friday the rate of growth in new cases was slowing somewhat in the state. (That said, New York is still routinely posting more than 80,000 new infections a day, an astronomical increase from all pandemic records prior to omicron's arrival in early December.)