Investment bank Goldman Sachs has asserted that concerns over the COVID-19 Omicron variant likely are unfounded. “This mutation is unlikely to be more malicious and … the existing vaccines will most likely continue to be effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths,” Goldman said in a Nov. 26 note. “We do not think that the new variant is sufficient reason to make major portfolio changes.” The World Health Organization (WHO) named the Omicron strain, which was discovered in South Africa less than a week ago, as a “variant of concern” on Nov. 26, sparking travel bans to several African nations. The WHO also explained why it disrupted its naming convention to skip naming the latest variant “Xi” in accordance with the Greek alphabet, after critics said the U.N. health agency was attempting to appease the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Gauteng, a city in South Africa, appears to be the Omicron epicenter for now. …


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