There's a new coronavirus strain in America from the U.K., and it's in 20 states and it's more transmissible—this we knew. Now, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is saying we have to also presume this U.K. mutation is deadlier, too. Read on for his warning, and how he says you should protect yourself—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Said We Have to Assume the COVID-19 Mutation Can Cause More Death
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday at a news briefing: "We've been informed today that in addition to spreading more quickly, it also now appears that there is some evidence that the new variant—the variant that was first discovered in London and the southeast [of England]—may be associated with a higher degree of mortality."
Dr. Fauci, who had previously said there was no evidence of it being more deadly, now says it may be. "The data that came out was after they had been saying all along that it did not appear to be more deadly," he told Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation. "So that's where we got that information. But when the British investigators look more closely at the death rate of a certain age group, they found that it was one, two per thousand, we'll say, and then it went up to 1.3 per thousand in a certain group. So that's a significant increase. So their most recent data is in accord with the Brits are saying, we want to look at the data ourselves, but we have every reason to believe them. They're a very competent group. So we need to assume now that what has been circulating dominantly in the U.K. does have a certain degree of increase in what we call virulence, namely the power of the virus to cause more damage, including death."
The U.K. mutation has been discovered in the following U.S. states:
Dr. Fauci Says Our Current Vaccines Should Protect You From the Mutations
As for the new strain—"well, there are actually two different ones," says Fauci. "When you look at the effect of the change, this lineage, that is the U,K. lineage that is now in at least 20 states in the United States—for vaccine induced antibodies, namely the vaccines that some of us have gotten, and that we're rolling out, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines seem to continue to be protective against the mutant," he said. "And the strain is a very minor diminution, but the cushion that you have of efficacy is so large that it's not going to negatively impact."
However, we are also facing a potential South African variant, which has yet to be discovered in the USA. He said it's "a little bit more concerning with the South African isolate, namely—the mutant that is now prevalent in South Africa—particularly its negative impact on some of the monoclonal antibodies that have been given for treatment, that it can, in some respects, knock out their efficacy. It looks like it does diminish more so the efficacy of the vaccine, but we're still within that cushion level of the vaccines being efficacious against these."
How to Get Through This Pandemic
"The best way to prevent the further evolution of these mutants is to vaccinate as many people as possible with the vaccines that we have currently available to us. That's the best protection against this evolution," says Dr. Fauci. So get vaccinated ASAP and follow his fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.