Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts COVID-19 Omicron surge will peak in late January in US

Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted on Wednesday that the highly contagious COVID-19 Omicron variant will peak in the US by the end of January.

“I would imagine, given the size of our country and the diversity of vaccination versus not vaccination, that it likely will be more than a couple of weeks, probably by the end of January, I would think,” Fauci said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” when asked when the latest coronavirus surge will start to wane.

But Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, admitted “it’s tough to say” before offering the timeline.

He also cited the trajectory of Omicron cases in South Africa, where the mutation was first detected, ahead of his response.

“It certainly peaked pretty quickly in South Africa,” Fauci said of Omicron. “It went up almost vertically and turned around very quickly.”

A health care worker collects a nasal swab sample from a man for COVID-19 Testing at a testing and vaccination site in Barnett Park in Orlando.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

The US had a record-breaking 441,000 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, according to CDC data — blowing away the prior record of 294,000 cases on Jan. 8, 2021.

The rise has occurred despite the majority of Americans being vaccinated.

 A long line of cars is seen at a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site in Barnett Park in Orlando.
A long line of cars is seen at a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site in Barnett Park in Orlando.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett