Expert warns US to brace for virulent Covid strain
A leading infectious disease expert predicted on Sunday that the deadlier British variant of Covid-19 will become the dominant strain of the virus in the US and could hit the country like a hurricane.
The worrying forecast came as the total of confirmed infections in the US passed the 26m mark, with the death toll advancing steadily towards the grim milestone of half a million after on Sunday surpassing the total of 440,000, by far the highest in the world according to data gathered by the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus research center.
Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm, who served on Joe Biden’s transition coronavirus advisory board after the Democratic victory in the 2020 election, and is director of the center for infectious disease research and policy at the University of Minnesota, warned America to brace for the spread of the virulent strain this spring.
“The surge that is likely to occur with this new variant from England is going to happen in the next six to 14 weeks, Osterholm told NBC’s Meet the Press show on Sunday morning.
He urged the new administration to move faster with plans to get as many people as possible in the US vaccinated, at least with their first dose, especially those aged over 65, in order to try and stave off the worst exacerbation by variants of the ongoing crisis.
“That hurricane is coming,” Osterholm told NBC:
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