New Covid variants will “hit us fairly laborious,” says Dr. Peter Hotez
Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, says the US is “facing a tough journey” as new variants of Covid spread across the country.
“Because they are more transmissible, it means more Americans will be infected. Although the number of new cases has decreased slightly … the expectation now is that it will rise again because of these new variants.” “Hotez said in an interview Thursday night on The News with Shepard Smith.” More people will become infected, overwhelm hospital systems again, and possibly the death rate will rise, both from a combination of more new cases in general and from one slightly higher mortality rate, solely due to the variant by the type of variant. “
Health officials in South Carolina have confirmed two cases of the dangerous, highly communicable South African tribe of Covid. Officials said the cases appear to be unrelated and unrelated to a recent trip. Dr. Zeke Emanuel, a member of President Joe Biden’s Covid Advisory Board, said that is why the South African exposure is so worrying.
“This is worrying because these two people have no evidence of travel, and it means that the South African variant, which is more worrying than even the British variant, is about and in the community,” said Emanuel.
Hotez told host Shep Smith that the new strains were even more problematic because “we weren’t looking”.
“We’ve done so poorly on genome sequencing that we’re picking up these British, South African, and Brazilian variants. So we know they’re in South Carolina, but they could be elsewhere,” said the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine on Baylor College of Medicine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the British variant, also known as B117, could dominate the US by spring. Hotez said the key to protecting the population is vaccinating people faster.
“The bottom line is that we need to find a way to vaccinate the American people faster than current projections,” Hotez said. “First, to reduce hospital stays and deaths, but also to stay one step ahead of these variants. If we can vaccinate three-quarters of the American population, we could potentially interrupt transmission and prevent some of these new variants from becoming dominant.”