New Covid variants are going to ‘hit us pretty hard,’ says Dr. Peter Hotez

Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, says that the U.S. is “in for a tough ride” as new Covid variants unfold throughout the nation. 

“Because they’re more transmissible, it means more Americans will become infected, so even though we’ve had a slight decrease in the number of new cases … the expectation now, it’s going to go back up because of these new variants,” stated Hotez in a Thursday night interview on “The News with Shepard Smith.” “More people are going to get infected, start overwhelming hospital systems again, and possibly the death rate will start to go up, both from a combination of more new cases in general and also they may have slightly higher mortality rates just from the variant just by the nature of the variant.”

Health officers in South Carolina confirmed two instances of the damaging, extremely transmissible South African pressure of Covid. The officers stated the instances don’t seem to be linked and are not linked to any latest journey. Dr. Zeke Emanuel, a member of President Joe Biden‘s Covid Advisory Board, stated that is why the South African pressure is so regarding. 

“This is worrisome because these two individuals have no evidence of travel, and so it does mean that the variant from South Africa, which is more worrisome than even the British variant, is about and in the community,” stated Emanuel.  

Hotez instructed host Shep Smith that the brand new strains are much more problematic as a result of “we haven’t been looking.” 

“We’ve been so profoundly underperforming in genomic sequencing, which is how we pick up these U.K, South African, Brazilian variants, so we know they’re in South Carolina, but they could be elsewhere,” stated the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the U.Ok. variant, often known as B117, might be dominant within the U.S. by the spring. Hotez stated that the important thing to defending the inhabitants was vaccinating folks at a faster fee. 

“The bottom line is we’re going to have to find a way to vaccinate the American people faster than the current projections,” stated Hotez. “One, in order to reduce hospitalization and death, but also to get 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.”

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