The mutated British coronavirus strain is likely already in the United States and could even have originated there, scientists have said.
The new strain, feared to be 70 percent more communicable and easier to spread among children, has led the US to urge the UK to ban travel, as dozens of countries, including Canada, have already done .
But Scott Gottlieb, a former head of the FDA, told CNBC that the new strain was "already in the US" and that a travel ban would not prevent it. "As the virus continues to spread around the world, we'll see more of these variants," he warned.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said the strain "could very well be here, for all we know," while New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also said he thinks it has reached the US.
Dr. Shira Doron, a Boston epidemiologist, told NBC10 that in the United States, she couldn't imagine that it wasn't. “Would I expect this deviation in the US? Sure. People travel all the time. I would expect that, ”she said.
Jeremy Luban, a University of Massachusetts virologist, told the Washington Post that the new strain "may even have started here" – suggesting that it may have been first discovered in the UK because of a genome sequencing program in the UK as "the best in the world." "is referred to" as compared to the "sporadic" in the US.
& # 39; It can very well be here. Maybe it even started here. Sequencing in the US is so sporadic, ”he said.
A UK advisory body scientist, Calum Semple, warned Monday that the new mutation would likely become the world's dominant strain – and predicted it would "outperform" other forms of the virus.
The mutation has been blamed by British politicians for a resurgence in cases in the south of England that appeared to oppose a lockdown in November. However, other experts have downplayed concerns, claiming the 70 percent claim is unproven.
The UK's yellow infection rate has rebounded sharply since a national lockdown ended in early December – a resurgence that can be attributed to the new variant of Covid-19 that has isolated the UK through a series of travel bans. The US infection rate is still higher than the UK. Some scholars and politicians say America should stop flights from the UK as well
Outside the UK, cases of the new strain have already been identified in Denmark, Gibraltar, the Netherlands, Australia and Italy. Experts say this is likely already the case in the US as well
Scott Gottlieb, a former head of the FDA, told CNBC that the new strain was "already in the US" and that a travel ban would not prevent it
Fauci says Americans will be given a COVID-19 vaccine starting this spring
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday that the American public is expected to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in the spring.
It contradicted a prediction made by Joe Biden's candidate for US surgeon general that the shot would not be available until midsummer or early fall.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Health and Infectious Diseases, admitted that it would take several months for the vast majority of the country's population to be vaccinated.
Dr. Fauci said the general American public will likely begin receiving the Covid-19 vaccine in the spring
“I think people are a little confused about when to expect the vaccine. If you start vaccinating sections of the public in April, by the end of August … then we should see an overwhelming majority, "Fauci told the Daily Beast.
"That's if you vaccinate very aggressively in May, June and July," he added.
The Biden candidate Dr. Vivek Murthy had said that "it could be closer to midsummer or early fall when this vaccine finds its way into the general population".
Monday marked the second week of the Pfizer vaccine nationwide launch and the first round of shipments of the Moderna vaccine after it was approved by U.S. regulators.
Millions of frontline healthcare workers, including those who work in long-term care facilities, have lined up to get the first doses.
At a briefing Monday, British scientists said the potential vulnerability of children could explain "a significant proportion" of the overall surge in cases. In England's most recent national lockdown, schools stayed open while shops, bars and restaurants were closed.
The coronavirus has long been considered "not as effective in infecting children as it is in adults". However, scientists believe the new strain may have changed this.
"There is some evidence that children are more prone to infection," said Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at University College London and a member of an advisory board.
"We didn't find any causality, but we can see it in the data," Ferguson said. "We need to collect more data to see how it behaves in the future."
He added, “What we saw is that during the lockdown in England we saw general spread of the virus to children and that was the variant and the non-variant and that is what we did Given that we were closed, which reduced contact with adults, but schools were still open.
"However, what we've seen over a five or six week period is consistently that the proportion (cases) for the variant in under-15s was statistically significantly higher than for the non-variant virus." We are still investigating the meaning of this. & # 39;
Another British scientist, Professor Wendy Barclay of Imperial College London, said the new virus could "put children on a level playing field" with adults.
The UK government believes the new variant could explain why cases in parts of England continued to rise even during the November lockdown.
Since the lockdown ended, cases have risen again across the country – leading to severe new restrictions and this week's rush to suspend flights.
Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Safety, said I would "not be shocked at all to find out" that the strain is already in the US.
“I don't think a travel ban will be particularly helpful. We already have a runaway broadcast of all the variants floating around here in the US, ”she said. "It makes sense that it was first discovered in the UK because it has probably the best surveillance program in the world."
Belgian virologist Marc van Ranst warned that "this variant has already spread more than we think" and told Bloomberg that it was not "entirely fair" to impose travel bans in the UK just because advanced genome sequencing discovered the mutation first.
Cuomo said Monday the new strain is "yet another disaster waiting to happen" after New York was hit hard by the first wave of the pandemic in the spring.
"If you don't require flights from the UK to be tested, thousands of UK passengers can come in here every day," Cuomo said. "Based on the experience in New York this spring, I believe this new, highly contagious variety of Covid-19 is already there," he added.
Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Delta Airlines have already agreed to test all passengers for Covid-19 before flying to New York.
The White House coronavirus task force is also considering a new rule requiring all passengers arriving from the UK to have a negative test within 72 hours of departure.
Canada has already imposed a 72-hour ban on arrivals from the UK. This makes Canada one of more than 40 countries that have stopped traveling from the UK.
Outside the UK, cases of the new strain have already been identified in Denmark, Gibraltar, the Netherlands, Australia and Italy.
The German RKI Health Institute said today that it was very likely that the mutation was already in the country, even though it had not yet been discovered.
The countries shown here have already imposed travel bans on the UK and left it isolated after it triggered the alarm on Saturday about the new variant
More than 40 countries, including all of the UK's closest neighbors in Europe, have already imposed travel bans (pictured are passengers at Gatwick Airport near London).
Covid deaths are increasing in 19 states, with California hospitals being at their limit
The death rate from Covid-19 is rising in 19 states, with average daily deaths in the US hitting a record 2,361 in the past week, data shows.
According to the Covid Tracking Project, hospitals in California are at the breaking point with just 30 beds in intensive care units reported in Los Angeles on Monday.
Around 18,359 people across the country are being hospitalized with the virus. Two months ago there were a total of 2,291 patients, 657 of them in the intensive care unit.
A model from the US state of California predicts that a total of 75,000 patients could be affected by mid-January.
Los Angeles District Health Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said plans for rationing supplies are not yet in place but need to be finalized because "the worst is yet to come".
States like New York, Texas, and Delaware have increasing average death tolls in seven days from last week. For Delaware they are up 139 percent; Alabama 58 percent and California 43 percent.
The U.S. recorded 1,485 Covid deaths and 178,000 cases on Monday, while a total of 115,351 people are currently hospitalized with the virus.
The rush to suspend flights came after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sounded the alarm about the new strain at a press conference on Saturday.
Blaming the threat posed by the mutated virus, Johnson put millions of people back in custody in England and drastically tightened Christmas rules for others.
Johnson said the UK is "fairly certain the variant will be transmitted faster and said that" it can be up to 70 percent more transmissible than the old variant ".
Peter Horby, chairman of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG), said the scientists are "very confident that this variant has a transmission advantage over other virus variants in the UK".
A NERVTAG paper suggested that the R-rate could rise by 0.4 or more – with the number already above the threshold of 1, signaling that the outbreak is on the rise.
The panel expressed "moderate confidence" that the variant known as VUI-202012/01 shows a significant increase in transferability compared to other variants.
Scientists said the new variety has quickly become the dominant strain in the south of England – it accounts for 60 percent of cases in London – and could soon do so across the country.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the new strain is "out of control" in parts of the UK, including London, which are now back on lockdown.
To add to the misery in Britain, the border closings have resulted in massive queues of trucks unable to get into France, raising food supply concerns.
However, politicians and scientists have said that there is no evidence that the new strain is more deadly or that it could interfere with vaccines already developed.
"There is no evidence that the severity is increasing," said WHO chief for emergencies, Dr. Michael Ryan, on Monday.
Dr. Fauci reiterated the statement also made by the federal government that there is no indication of a threat to the effectiveness of the vaccine.
"When you deal with mutations, you have to follow them closely, not take them lightly," said Fauci.
The head of German company BioNTech, which worked with Pfizer to produce the world's first approved vaccine, said today he was confident that the push against the British variant would work.
"Scientifically speaking, it is very likely that the immune response of this vaccine can also deal with the new virus variants," said Ugur Sahin, adding that the proteins in the British variant were 99 percent identical to those of other strains.
Should the vaccine need to be adjusted for the new variant, it could be done in about six weeks, Sahin said, although regulators may need to approve the changes before the shots can be used.
Fears about the potential impact of the new variant on the US go hand in hand with an increase in deaths in 19 states and hospitals in California
Just like the UK, South Africa has seen a re-emergence of coronavirus cases associated with a new strain similar but different to the UK variant
Admiral Brett Giroir, US deputy health secretary, said the new strain "has become of concern as it becomes the dominant strain in the UK".
“The bottom line is that because it is the dominant variant, it may be more transferable – and that can be true. It hasn't been proven, but it can be true, ”he told CNN.
A top German virologist, Christian Drosten, suggested yesterday that the 70 percent claim by politicians was exaggerated and not proven. After seeing more detailed evidence, he said that "cases with the mutant strain only increase in areas where the overall infection rate is high or increasing".
Dr. Mark Siedner, an epidemiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, told NBC it was "just too early to determine if this is more contagious," adding, "We really don't know if this is the chicken or the egg, the cause or that is correlation. & # 39;
Another British virologist, Professor Mark Harris, accused the UK government of using the new variant as a "smoke screen" for failing to control infections.
In addition, South Africa has identified its own new variant, which it also blames for an increase in the infection rate.
South African health officials said the new variant had spread faster than the previous iteration, but it wasn't the same burden as the UK's.
"In the UK they also identified a new variant … there are some similarities between the two lines … there are also a similar number of mutations," said Professor Tulio de Oliviera, member of the South African Genomics Consortium.
The infection rate in South Africa has more than doubled in the past two weeks, from 6.47 new cases per 100,000 people two weeks ago to 14.68 on Sunday.
Some Covid-19 vaccines, including the one developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, are being clinically tested in South Africa.
While the new strain is widely believed to originate from the UK, some scholars have argued that this could simply reflect the UK's better surveillance systems.
Boris Johnson boasted Saturday that the UK "has by far the best genome sequencing ability in the world, which means we can identify new strains like this better than any other country".
Calum Semple, the scientist on the UK advisory panel, said there will likely be more variation as the virus is "under pressure" from vaccines and widespread immunity.
"The fact is, we identified it, we got it national attention, we got the attention of politicians and the World Health Organization in a very short time," he told Sky News.
Virus mutations are common and occurred in a "natural and expected" process throughout the pandemic, according to the WHO.
& # 39; Most of the mutations are trivial. It's the change of a letter or two in the genetic alphabet that doesn't make much of a difference in ability to cause disease, ”said Dr. Philip Landrigan, a former CDC scientist.
However, the current mutation has many mutations – nearly two dozen – eight of which are on the spike protein that the virus uses to infect cells.
Landrigan disagreed with some scholars, saying it made "very, very good sense to restrict travel from the UK" to slow the spread of the new strain.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson raised the alarm at Saturday's press conference, putting much of the country, including London, back on hold
Engineers and volunteers stand outside a mobile field hospital at the UCI Medical Center in Orange, California on Monday. The number of people hospitalized across California with confirmed COVID-19 infections is more than double the previous July. A government model predicts that a total of 75,000 patients could be affected by mid-January
A graphic from the Covid Tracking Project shows that 18,359 people in California are being hospitalized with the virus
The US recorded 1,485 COVID deaths on Monday. A total of 115,351 people will be hospitalized with the virus
Fears about the potential impact in America are accompanied by rising deaths in 19 states and hospitals in California.
Data from the Covid Tracking Project shows that 18,359 people were in a California hospital as of Monday. Only 30 intensive care beds are said to be available in Los Angeles.
In all of Southern California and in the San Joaquin Valley with 12 counties in the north, regular intensive capacities have not been available for days.
Los Angeles County Health Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said plans for rationing care need to be made because "the worst is yet to come".
A document recently distributed among LA hospitals states that instead of trying to save every life, the goal could be to save as many as possible – meaning those less likely to survive will not receive the same care would receive.
"A compromise on standard of care is inevitable," warned a Los Angeles Times document.
"It is not that any entity, system, or locale is limiting resources, but that the resources are clearly not available to provide regular maintenance."
The death toll in California rose 43 percent last week, while it rose 58 percent in Alabama and 139 percent in Delaware.
Across the country, the US recorded 1,485 deaths and 178,000 cases as of Monday, while a total of 115,351 people are currently hospitalized with the virus.
Also on Monday, President-elect Joe Biden received his first dose of the vaccine on live television to convince people that the bumps are safe.
78-year-old Biden took a dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine in a hospital near his home in Delaware hours after his wife, Jill Biden, did the same.
The injections were given the same day a second vaccine manufactured by Moderna will arrive in the United States.
Ilhan Omar criticizes "disruptive" younger lawmakers like the AOC member for receiving vaccines in front of people over 65 and frontline workers
By Nikki Schwab, Senior US Political Reporter at DailyMail.com
MP Ilhan Omar called it "worrying" that her colleagues, including her 31-year-old "Squad" colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, could be vaccinated against the coronavirus in front of frontline workers and the elderly.
"It is now clear that we do not have enough vaccines for everyone and there is a lack of supplies. We have to prioritize those who need it most," Omar tweeted on Sunday. "So it is worrying to see members being the first to receive vaccines while most of the elderly and frail workers wait on the front lines in our districts."
Omar linked up with an interview she conducted on CNN earlier this month when she argued the same way when early reports said White House staff would have access to the COVID-19 vaccine before most Americans.
Rep. Ilhan Omar called it "worrying" that members of Congress were given the coronavirus vaccine in front of frontline workers and the elderly
Omar tweeted her disgust on Sunday, following on from a CNN interview she had earlier in the months when she argued that White House staff shouldn't get the vaccine first either
Among the lawmakers who received the COVID-19 vaccine was 31-year-old "Squad" member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who documented the experience on her Instagram
"Our front-line workers who have made the sacrifice to get the country running should have priority, people who have been disproportionately affected should have priority," she said.
President Donald Trump later tweeted that he believed White House staff should not receive the vaccine in front of other, vulnerable segments of the US population.
Those in the U.S. government got the Pfizer on Friday, and Vice President Mike Pence got the first shot alongside his wife Karen and surgeon general Jerome Adams.
Later in the day, both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received the vaccine.
Those in charge weren't the only members of Congress who could get the vaccine – it was made available to everyone.
Ocasio-Cortez erklärte, dass sie aufgrund des Plans der Regierung zur Kontinuität der Regierungsführung vor den meisten Amerikanern geimpft werden könne
Ocasio-Cortez, who will be the youngest member of Congress until Republican Madison Cawthorn is sworn in in January, extensively described the vaccine on her Instagram story.
AOC said she found out that she and other members of Congress would have access to the vaccine because of the continuity of governance plan, basically a national security measure, she told her Instagram followers.
Republikaner, darunter Senator Marco Rubio, der das Virus heruntergespielt und an den Kundgebungen von Präsident Donald Trump teilgenommen hatte, holten sich ebenfalls den Impfstoff.
Die CNN-Kommentatorin Ana Navarro-Cardenas hat Rubio angegriffen, weil er zu denjenigen gehört, die sich zuerst impfen lassen.
'Der junge, gesunde Senator, der bei Kundgebungen mit Tausenden von Masken sprach, der Trump unterstützt, der COVID heruntergespielt und diejenigen verspottet hat, die Masken tragen, ist der erste, der sich impfen lässt, während die meisten medizinischen Arbeiter, ältere und gebrechliche Amerikaner, Warten Sie, Navarro Cardenas twitterte. "Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu Ihrem Privileg, @marcorubio."
Aber nicht jeder Republikaner stellte sich auf, um sich impfen zu lassen.
Senator Rand Paul, der im März COVID-19 hatte, sagte, er sollte zu den letzten gehören, die einen Impfstoff bekommen – und klopfte Ocasio-Cortez an, weil er ihn bekommen hatte.
"Ich denke, es wäre unverständlich für jemanden, der es hatte, sich vor jemanden zu stellen, der es nicht hatte, einen Impfstoff zu nehmen", sagte Paul am Montag gegenüber Reportern am Capitol Hill. "Ich denke, es ist für AOC, der 30 Jahre alt ist, unverständlich, fröhlich zu lächeln und den Impfstoff zu bekommen, wenn man 85-jährige Menschen in Pflegeheimen hat, die ihn nicht bekommen haben."
Nach einem Gespräch mit Reportern twitterte Paul auch diesen Punkt.
"Ich wurde gefragt, ob ich mich im Kongress mit anderen impfen lassen möchte: Es ist für mich – der das Virus bereits bekommen hat / Immunität hat – unangemessen, vor ältere Menschen / Angestellte im Gesundheitswesen zu treten", schrieb er. Gleiches gilt für AOC oder jeden jungen gesunden Menschen. Sie sollten zu den Letzten gehören, nicht zu den Ersten. & # 39;
Im Juni verlor Omar ihren Vater Nur Omar Mohamed durch Komplikationen von COVID-19.
In jüngerer Zeit kritisierte sie den Umgang der Trump-Regierung mit der Pandemie, als sie über den Tod ihres Vaters sprach.
„Mein Vater und über 300.000 Menschen haben ihr Leben verloren, weil Trump und seine Regierung gefährliche kriminelle Vernachlässigungen begangen haben. Mein Vater sollte heute hier sein. So viele unserer Familienmitglieder sollten heute hier sein und sie sind nicht hier bei uns, weil wir Führungskräfte haben, die sich nicht um ihr Leben kümmern “, sagte sie letzte Woche in einem Interview mit MSNBC.
"Der Präsident hat bis heute kein bisschen Mitgefühl mit den Verstorbenen gezeigt", sagte sie. "Er hat den verheerenden Verlust immer noch nicht anerkannt, so viele von uns fühlen sich."
Sie sagte, die Fehler der Verwaltung sollten untersucht werden.
"Wir müssen diese Menschen untersuchen und strafrechtlich verfolgen, die für diese rücksichtslosen Todesfälle verantwortlich sind", sagte Omar.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Coronavirus (t) Dr. Anthony Fauci (t) Andrew Cuomo