It is hard to understand why there is a "huge alarmist attitude" toward the newly discovered omicron coronavirus variant when the initial reports are showing mild symptoms, Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., told Newsmax on Wednesday.
"This is all so much conjecture," Murphy, who is also a doctor, told "American Agenda," after Dr. Anthony Fauci's remarks to reporters concerning the discovery of the first official case of the variant to pop up in the United States.
"Up to this point, from everything that I've read and everything that I've seen, the type of symptoms from the omicron variant have been less and as of [Tuesday], there had been zero deaths reported," Murphy said.
In his remarks, Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, said the person with the virus had returned to San Francisco on Nov. 22 from traveling in South Africa and had tested positive for the variant Nov. 22, CNBC reported.
"The individual is self quarantining and all close contacts have been contacted and all close contacts, thus far, have tested negative," Fauci said. "We feel good that this patient not only had mild symptoms but the symptoms appear to be improving."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, genomic sequencing had been initially conducted at the University of California in San Francisco and was confirmed by the CDC as the variant.
"I've been a physician for 30 years and I've been very open that I believe people should get vaccinated, and I believe in certain populations should get the booster," Murphy said, but he wonders about the "alarmist activity" that is surrounding the new variant.
"Fauci just skirted around the big elephant in the room," Murphy said. "That is the hundreds and thousands of people who are coming across our border."
It is also "totally asinine" to think travel restrictions will stop the spread of the new variant, especially with domestic travel, he added.
"People still drive between A and Z," Murphy said. "They don't just fly between A and Z, but then when you talk about the thousands that are coming across our border."
Further, the Biden administration is not enforcing the use of the Title 42 rule on the border to control people who might be infected from entering the country, even though that measure remains on the books, Murphy said.
"If they're not enforcing it, it's just again another hypocritical move by the Biden administration," Murphy said. "This whole hysteria that's going on about travel bans ... I think it is just alarmist and not necessary."
Meanwhile, the pandemic is not ending soon, and omicron won't be the last mutation.
"Hopefully this thing mutates to where it's a benign thing," said Murphy. "Maybe omicron is the first beginning of that."
It's also "nonsense" to cancel Christmas or family gatherings, the doctor said.
"You can't stop living in fear of dying," said Murphy. "We've had close to two years in this process. We have therapeutics. We have vaccines. And we need to be moving ahead and stop robbing people of life. We've seen how traumatizing this has been on so many individuals. The rise in domestic violence, the rise in suicide, the increase in opioid doses. You just have to be smart about this and not alarmist about the entire measure."
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