We all want the coronavirus pandemic to be over, and in some ways it feels like it is—most cities are back open, and nationwide, cases are back to their March 2020 levels. One problem: Even back in March 2020, we had too many COVID cases for comfort. Today, vaccination levels are stalling out. And a new variant, called Delta, threatens the lives of many Americans—and threatens to extend the pandemic even more. That's why Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared at the White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing with a new warning. Read on for 5 things you need to know ASAP—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.
Dr. Fauci Warned That the New Delta Variant Was Doubling Every Two Weeks
"We seem to be following the pattern with the Delta variant with a doubling time of about two weeks," warned Dr. Fauci. It now represents "20.6% of the isolates." He called it the "greatest threat" to the USA and showed a chart of the UK, in which the Delta variant became the predominant form of COVID-19 in record time. As a result, the UK paused its reopening plans.
CDC Warned COVID "Will Remain a Threat" and a "More Dangerous" Form Than Delta Could Appear
"As long as there are those who are not vaccinated COVID-19 will remain a threat," said CDC Chief Rochelle Walensky. "CDC continues to follow the prevalence of the Delta variant of COVID-19. As you've just heard in the last two weeks, the prevalence of cases resulting from the Delta variant has doubled to just over 20%…This is concerning but expected knowing what we do about how efficiently this variance spreads and by what we saw in the United Kingdom with this variant, we know our vaccines work against this variant. However, this variant represents a set of mutations that could lead to future mutations that evade our vaccine. And that's why it's more important than ever to get vaccinated now to stop the chain of infection, the chain of mutations that could lead to a more dangerous variants."
CDC Also Announced Good News—With a Warning
"Yesterday, CDC reported 9,860 new cases of COVID-19. And our seven day average is about ten three hundred fifty cases per day," said Walensky. "This represents a decrease of nearly 18% from the prior seven-day average, and is the lowest seven-day average since March 25th, 2020. The seven day average of hospital admissions is about 1,790 per day, a decrease of about 14% from the prior seven day period. And the seven day average of daily deaths have also declined to 273 per day. These numbers demonstrate the extraordinary progress we've made against a formidable foe, thanks to our vaccination programs. We are seeing a dramatic decline in deaths, hospitalization, and cases, and we will continue to vaccinate people across the summer months. COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone. They are nearly a hundred percent effective against severe disease and death."
Dr. Fauci Called Delta the "Greatest Threat"
Fauci's good news? "One of our tools, the effectiveness of the vaccines in this case, two weeks after the second dose of Pfizer, BioNTech was 88% effective against the Delta at 93% effective against the Alpha when you're dealing with symptomatic disease. When you look at hospitalizations, again, both the Pfizer BioNTech and the Oxford AstraZeneca are between 92 and 96% effective against hospitalizations. You put all of these things together and you come to what we would call a self-evident conclusion, similar to the situation in the UK. The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19. Good news.: Vaccines are effective against the Delta variant. We have the tools, so let's use them and crush the outbreak."
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So What Should You Do?
So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, 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.