Delta variant now accounts for over 80% of new US COVID-19 cases: CDC director

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday that the Delta variant, first identified in India, now accounts for 83 per cent of newly sequenced COVID-19 cases in the U.S. She said it’s a “dramatic increase,” up from 50 per cent the week of July 3 and the percentage is even higher in some parts of the country, particularly in areas of low vaccination rate.

During the hearing before the U.S. Senate committee, Sen. Richard Burr (R – N.C.) expressed concerns that messages from public health experts would not be followed if Americans didn’t believe in the experts. He added that the Trump administration “lost the attention and trust” of Americans with two-hour briefings and stressed that the Biden administration shouldn’t lose the trust and attention, suggesting they were bending to the will of groups like “the teachers union,” saying people need to know what experts are telling them is the “unvarnished truth.”

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci also spoke about concerns over breakthrough infections, in which despite full vaccination, COVID-19 cases were still being reported. Fauci said the data from clinical trials in terms of efficacy was based on preventing clinically apparent disease, not preventing infection. He stressed when people hear of an infection, “that doesn’t necessarily mean the vaccine is failing,” as it is still protecting against severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths.

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