How to Respond to the Omicron Variant

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Last weekend, just as many Americans were returning from Thanksgiving feasts with family and friends, reports of a new coronavirus variant, called Omicron, began to proliferate worldwide. Though there is some preliminary evidence that Omicron may be more transmissible and less responsive to the current COVID-19 vaccines than previous variants, the scientific community has been clear that more data are needed before any conclusions can be drawn about the threat Omicron poses. Still, several countries, including the U.S., have instituted new travel restrictions and recommended increased masking and social distancing. Dhruv Khullar, a contributing writer for The New Yorker and a practicing physician, joins Carla Blumenkranz to discuss what is known about Omicron, how world leaders should respond to the discovery of new variants, and how we can learn to live with COVID.

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