Several variants, or what could be called new versions of COVID-19, have reached America, most probably from the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil. Dr. Anthony Fauci said the variant which is the U.K. version could be the dominant one in the U.S. by March because it has spread so quickly. As has been proven time and again the spread and pace of infection of COVID-19 remain very different from state to state. The variants do not represent a different situation.
Recently the CDC issued a new warning, to some extent because of the variant problem. Its leadership raised an alarm about the decision of some state leaders to kill mask-wearing initiatives. While the spread of COVID-19 may have slowed in recent weeks, the disease still represents a terrible danger. A curtailing of a basic rule about the prevention of more infections could trigger another surge in the disease.
The spread of the disease in the U.S. can hardly be considered over. Confirmed cases number 27,837,755. While the increase no longer hits over 200,000 most days, a daily jump of 100,000 remains common. The U.S. continues to have about 25% of the global case count. Deaths number 488,364, and rise by 3,000 most days. Experts worry 600,000 total deaths by summer remains a possibility.
Another reason for the CDC warning takes into account vaccination rates. Currently, the count vaccination doses delivered stands at 70,057,800. “Shots given” number 52,884,356. Only 12% of Americans have received one dose, and just 4.2% have gotten the two shots necessary for close to full protection.
Variants of COVID-19 which may spread faster than the version of the disease most prevalent in America may be more lethal and could resist current vaccines. The CDC puts the count of these variant cases at 1,173 across 40 states. Florida’s infection count for the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, or P.1 variant has reached 379. The figure in California has reached 186.
The CDC dashboard for “US COVID-19 Cases Caused by Variants” shows that after Florida and California, the variant count has reached 67 in Colorado, 61 in Michigan, 59 in New York State, and 49 in Texas. Notably, a look at the CDC map shows how widespread the variants have become. Clearly, these have not been contained or the spread limited in any single part of the U.S. geographically.
The variants tracked by the CDC may be quickly joined by others. According to The New York Times: “As Americans anxiously watch the spread of coronavirus variants that were first identified in Britain and South Africa, scientists are finding a number of new variants that seem to have originated in the United States — and many of them may pose the same kind of extra-contagious threat.”
If Fauci’s comments remain accurate, the CDC map’s new variant count will rise from the thousands to the tens of thousands to the hundreds of thousands by spring. It remains too early to speculate about how serious that makes the spread of the disease, which could happen in just a few weeks.