WASHINGTON (AP) – US health officials believe the coronavirus mutation that caused alarms in parts of Britain is no more likely to cause serious illness or vaccine resistance than the stress that strikes people in the United States “But it must still be ‘serious,'” the government’s leading expert in infectious diseases said on Sunday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci endorses the decision of US officials to require negative COVID-19 tests before people from Britain are allowed to enter the US. He said the strain strain is something that ‘should follow very closely’ and ‘we are looking at it very intensively now.’
He said: “Does it make anyone sicker? Is it more serious in the sense of virulence? And the answer is that it does not look like that. British officials told their US colleagues that the vaccines were strong enough to handle the new variant, but Fauci said: “We will do the studies ourselves.”
Fauci said the U.S. is in a critical phase of the pandemic, with the worst likely yet to come. He predicted that the general population would be widely vaccinated by the end of March or early April – outside of frontline workers, the elderly and certain other sections of the public who prefer the vaccines.
Fauci spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union”.