Once again, Covid-19 “fear porn” is in full effect as dire warnings related to the omicron variant of the virus have dominated holiday headlines. Specifically, government health officials and their mainstream media mouthpieces are warning of record numbers of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths tied to the variant in the weeks to come.
“That is going to happen,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) told CNN this week. “We are going to see a significant stress in some regions of the country on the hospital system, particularly in those areas where you have a low level of vaccination.”
“It is going to be tough,” Fauci added. “It is going to be a tough few weeks to months as we get deeper into the winter.”
Is Fauci correct? That remains to be seen …
From the beginning of the Covid-19 scare, South Carolina has consistently lagged behind the rest of the nation when it comes to vaccination rates – and not just for Covid-19 shots. As of the beginning of this week, 55.9 percent of Palmetto State citizens over the age of 12 had “completed vaccination” for the coronavirus, according to the latest data from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).
And no … despite what the mainstream press tells you, not all of the unvaccinated are “MAGA rubes.”
Despite lagging behind the nation when it comes to vaccinations, South Carolina is fortunate (for now) when it comes to one of the most important leading indicators of this virus. Regular readers will no doubt know I am referring to the virus’s reproduction rate – or “Rt” – which I addressed recently in this video.
Rt (or “R naught”) is the average number of people we can expect to be infected by someone who is Covid-19 positive, according to the Yale researchers who have been tracking this critical indicator.
“When Rt is above 1, we expect cases to increase in the near future,” the researchers noted. “When Rt is below one, we expect cases to decrease in the near future.”
(Click to view)
(Via: Yale University)
As you can see from the chart (above), Rt in South Carolina currently stands at 0.73 – meaning for every four people who test positive for the virus only three are likely to become infected. That’s down from a recent mini-spike which saw Rt at (or just barely above) 1.00 for sixteen days between November 11-26, 2021.
By contrast, during the peak ramp-up of the delta variant of the virus between July 17-20, 2021, Rt topped out at 1.67 – meaning for every three people with Covid-19 another five were being infected.
Early reports indicate the omicron variant of Covid-19 is highly transmissible, meaning Rt in South Carolina – and across the country – is likely to spike in the weeks and months to come as it begins to spread and establish itself as the dominant strain. This means cases are likely to spike shortly thereafter.
What we do not yet know is whether the new variant gets people sicker … meaning it remains to be seen whether we will see another winter spike in hospitalizations and, potentially, deaths.
Fauci and the MSM certainly think so, but they have over-hyped Covid-19 from the beginning. And as a result, it is hard to take them seriously now when they cry “wolf.”
Stay tuned … in contrast to the MSM “fear porn” bombardment, this news outlet will continue to provide its readers with the very latest coronavirus data as well as our best assessment of the numbers. We will also keep our readers up to speed on the very latest related to the ongoing policy debate over vaccinations.
And as always, our microphone is always open to readers who wish to weigh in on this or any other issue we cover …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that New York Giants’ 1942 All Star Game lid pictured above).
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