Fauci Says Omicron Restrictions May Be Needed, Majority Of Americans Disagree

White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday that more restrictions may be needed to curb the transmission of COVID-19 if cases continue to surge.

Fauci made the remarks during an appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box, when pressed on the possibility of further measures amid a surge of COVID-19 infections largely fueled by the Delta variant—and increasingly, the Omicron variant.

"You've got to just take things one step at a time and take a look at how things evolve," Fauci said. "I mean, obviously, if you are vaccinated, your family's vaccinated, you have friends who are vaccinated and hopefully also boosted, you can still enjoy a social gathering generally in a home."

Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, urged Americans to be cautious when going into large public indoor spaces "where there are a lot of people there."

"And that's the reason why you should be wearing a mask under those circumstances," the nation's leading infectious disease expert said.

"But you gotta follow what's going on," he cautioned. "If the counts keep going up and the test positivity keeps going up, we may need to be more restrictive."

Fauci added that for now, individuals who are vaccinated and those who have received their booster shots "should feel reasonably comfortable."

He added, "The risk was never zero. That's for sure."

Fauci's remarks come shortly after a recent nationwide poll found that the majority of Americans oppose new mandates and restrictions to address the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The survey, conducted by The Trafalgar Group and Convention of States Action between December 4 to December 7, asked 1084 Americans about whether they would favor restrictions to tackle the Omicron variant.

It found that 69.4 percent of Americans say "no new mandates or restrictions are required" for the variant, opposed to 30.6 percent who say the opposite.

The Trafalgar Group is ranked A- by FiveThirtyEight for its polling accuracy, with a perceived 1.3% bias towards Republicans. Convention of States Action is a project founded by Citizens for Self Governance, a right-wing political organization with ties to the Koch brothers.

"Unlike government health officials in Washington, DC, Americans have already figured out that mandates and lockdowns are not the way we will beat the COVID-19 pandemic," said Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action.

"As we've seen in our polls repeatedly, the American people are tired of all this and ready to get on with their lives. The U.S. Senate finally recognized this reality this week with the bipartisan passage of the bill to block President Biden's illegal vaccine mandate, and we're going to see more of this as we get closer to 2022 and elected officials fight to save their jobs."

In the week ending December 11, the Omicron variant accounted for 2.9 percent of sequences in COVID-19 cases nationwide. Scientists believe the newly detected variant will spread rapidly across the United States.

 Infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee about the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on November 04, 2021 in Washington, DC. Fauci on Friday said more restrictions may be needed in the future to curb the transmission of COVID-19. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images