Fauci Disagrees with VP Harris: ‘We Definitely Saw Variants Coming’
FAUCI: "We did, Jake. We definitely saw variants coming. I think what one referred to, what was not anticipated was the extent of the mutations and the amino acid substitutions in Omicron, which is really unprecedented. It kind of came out of nowhere, where you have a virus that has 50 mutations, 30 of which are in the spike protein, and 10 or 12 of which are in the receptor binding domain. I mean, to me, that's really quite unprecedented. So that's something you would not have anticipated. But we certainly were anticipating that there were going to be variants, because when you have so many — so much replication going on in the community, if you give a virus enough opportunity to replicate, you know it's going to ultimately mutate. And, sometimes, those mutations wind up being a new variant. And that's exactly what happened with Delta. And, certainly, that's what happened with Omicron."