tv White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Briefing CSPAN January 26, 2022 3:49pm-4:03pm EST
our -- for being here and what you have to say. >> today, the retired admiral joins the u.s. chamber of commerce for a conversation on geopolitical hotspots to watch in 2022 live at 4:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. online at c-span.org or for full coverage on our new video app c-span now. >> the white house covid-19 response team gave an update this morning on the omicron surge and efforts to increase testing supplies and capabilities across the nation. this is about 40 minutes. >> good morning and thank you for joining us. today, dr. walensky will provide an update on omicron and the state of the pandemic. dr. fauci will discuss the latest research on development of 10 coronavirus vaccines. first i will provide a brief operational update.
data demonstrates that covid-19 has a severity that is slower, with the omicron variant. not with higher variance. you can see the relative rates of cases, shown in purple, with hospital admissions shown in orange. covid-19 related deaths are shown in blue. this compares the outcomes during the three periods of high covid-19 transmission. the peak, last winter, shown in the green section, with vaccination rates low, and cases and hospitalizations being high. the peaks of the summer months are when the delta variant was dominant. it is in yellow, shaded area. nearly 50% of the country has been vaccinated with the series. the third shaded section in orange represents the past months when cases dramatically increased due to the omicron variant. right now, we are at 54% of the country receiving primary series.
50% of eligible people, overeating, or boosted. when you look at the delta. from last winter, as cases increase, hospitalizations and deaths increased in a similar pattern. strikingly, when we compare the past month, when omicron was the predominant variant, we can see a clear separation between cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. while cases have dramatically increased and are five times higher than they were during the delta wave, hospitalizations have not increased at the same rate. deaths remain low in comparison to the case count. when looking across these periods, with high transmissions in the pandemic, you can see that while the number of hospitalizations is higher than we have ever previously seen, the ratio of hospitalizations to cases remains lower than prior peaks. when we look at other disease
severity indicators, measurement people who are hospitalized with covid-19, such as hospital length of stay, icu admissions, and that, it is lower with omicron thin during previous periods of high transmissions did this is likely attributable to two key factors. first, many people in our country have some level of immunity from vaccination and boosters, or from previous infections. second, it is likely that omicron is less severe than prior variance. although it is encouraging the omicron appears to be causing less severe disease, it is important to remember that we are still facing a high overall burden of disease. hospitalizations have rapidly increased in a short amount of time, and has put a strain on many local hospitals. milder does not mean mild. we cannot look past the strain on our health system and substantial number of deaths.
nearly 2200 today, as a result of extremely transmittable omicron variant. please remember vaccinations and boosters. last week, i highlighted three publications that subscribe effectiveness of booster doses in protecting against the omicron variant. it is of critical importance that people remain up-to-date with the cdc recommended covid-19 vaccination. it is vital that we all remaining vigilant in the face of this virus. many are tired. but many of our hospitals are still struggling beyond capacity. it has been a long two years. however, please do your part to lean into the current moment. now is the time to do what we know works. wear a mask. get vaccinated. get boosted. thank you. i will turn it over to dr. fauci. dr. fauci: i would like to spend
the next few minutes talking about our plans for the future and our current activities under the development of the universal vaccine. a little bit over a month ago, my colleagues and i wrote a perspective in the journal of medicine, talking about the urgent need of a coronavirus vaccine. the reason we did this perspective was to bring to the attention of the public, the fact that in reality, over the past 20 years since 2002, we have had three coronaviruses in outbreak. and we are currently experiencing that. however, since september 2020, there have been five covid to variants of concern. alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and omicron. innovative approaches are needed to produce more durable protection against coronaviruses that are known and some that are at this point unknown.
hence, the terminology, pandemic vaccine. this is somewhat of a complicated issue. this is what we call a genetic tree of the coronavirus. if you look at the center of the circle, that is the original source. like a tree, has many branches. as you can see, there are many different types of coronaviruses. those with humans are in red font. if you look at the alpha coronavirus, they are, with yellow, it is really part of the common cold coronavirus that we each get infected with, usually in the winter months. but if you look at the beta, you see the three that are causing pandemic threats. let's put a circle on the covid to where we are. we have five different variants.
alpha, beta, gamma, and more that have impacted us here. also, if you go to the next slide, you can see that there is a good relationship. that is between one and two. they are what we call viruses. they are a subset of the beta coronavirus. the reason i say this is that looking at the entirety of the coronavirus genetic tree, it would be unreasonable to think we are going to get a pan coronavirus for all of them can focus on some of the subsets, particularly covid to and the entirety of eco virus, which includes covid one. having said that, what are we doing? the nih put an investment into this of 3.2 billion dollars for coronavirus research since the pandemic began. a subset of that is coronavirus
vaccine research. thus far, it is one and a half billion dollars. we have investments that are based in research awards of about $43 million. that is before academic institutions doing research to develop from funding that has gone on over the past couple of years. these are just a few of the scientific reports of examples of candidates so that clinical in other small animals as well as nonhuman primates, as well as getting ready and already in phase one trial. these are based on a concept of looking at a vaccine construct.
i asked in a previous white house press briefing when i described mrna, and one can look at it as a vaccine platform. the platform we talk about right now is the mrna. the vaccine immunogen is that protein in its pre-fusion stabilized form. here are two examples of what is going on now. for example, a number of groups have used the nano particle approach which is the platform. the immunogen of the spike fragments that were put in the vaccine would lead to a diverse antibody response, hence covering a broader array of a particular virus. another example is an inactivated whole virus vaccine
where you have different versions of the coronavirus delivered by an intranasal mix. this is important because this can go a long way to protecting against infection and spread of infection. i use those two examples because they are two of many that are currently being produced. next slide. the final slide is some key points. i do not want anyone to think that the pan coronavirus vaccine is around the corner in a month or two. it will take years to develop. >> we will take you live to a discussion on geopolitical threats in 2022. we join us live in progress here on c-span. >> the you and ambassador touched on several things on the global stage and talked about a number of several topics that we will get to today with our