Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner issued a warning on Sunday that the Delta variant of COVID-19 could soon be responsible for “very dense foci” of the disease in the United States
The Delta variant, first discovered in India, has now been found in 49 states and 85 countries. It is significantly more transmissible and can cause more serious disease than other strains.
Outbreaks in the United States will likely be “hyper-regional” and tend to hit communities with low vaccination and immunity rates, Dr Scott Gottlieb said on “Face the Nation”.
“I think looking across the United States, if you’re a community that has low immunization rates and you also think there was low prior immunity, low immunity from past infection, de so the virus hasn’t really passed through the local population, these communities are vulnerable, ”Gottlieb said.
The Delta variant now accounts for the majority of new COVID-19 cases in the UK. Gottlieb said the United States could be only a month or two behind this trend. However, while cases are increasing in Britain, they are not increasing at the same rate as at the start of the pandemic. And there were only about 1,000 hospitalizations among some 90,000 cases and the vast majority of them were unvaccinated people, Gottlieb said.
“The experience in the United States is likely to be similar,” he said, with the exception of parts of the country, such as the rural South with both low vaccination rates and previous illnesses.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (right) also told ‘Face the Nation’ that the increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in his state also involved people who had not been vaccinated. Arkansas currently has a 50% adult vaccination rate, but “we need to increase that rate,” he said.
“The Delta variant is of great concern to us. We are finding that this is having an impact on the increase in our cases and hospitalizations, ”Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson blamed the vaccine reluctance in his condition, which he attributed in part to conspiracy theories and safety fears. He also said that when cases are low, people just don’t believe COVID-19 is bad enough to get vaccinated.
Check out Gottlieb’s full interview above. Governor Asa Hutchinson’s interview is available here:
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