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New COVID Mutation Multiplying, Warns Former FDA Chief

“It's 1% now. It'll be 2%, then 4%, then 8%, then 16%, then 32%. In about five weeks, this is going to...take over.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Scott Gottlieb

The surge of COVID-19 cases, resulting in nearly 4,000 deaths daily, has been attributed to the post-holiday surge, but there's another insidious factor at play: a new coronavirus mutation, or variant. This new variant, from the U.K., is considered to be more transmissible—meaning, it transmits from person-to-person faster than the current COVID-19. Other variants—from Brazil and South Africa—may be more dangerous. Their presence in America caused incoming CDC head Rochelle Walensky to tell Face the Nation yesterday that things were about to get worse. "Yeah, I think tragically, that's right," agreed former FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb. Read on to hear his dire prediction—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

The COVID-19 Variant is About to "Take Over," Says Dr. Gottlieb

"What we're likely to see is infection start to decline," began Gottlieb, with what sounded like good news at first. "I think we're seeing it right now. We're seeing a near-term peak in terms of the number of new daily cases."

"Now, unfortunately," he continued, "deaths and hospitalizations will continue to grow over the next two or three weeks because they're a lagging indicator. But we'll see continued declines probably for about four weeks, maybe five weeks until this new variant starts to take over."

"Right now," he said, "this new variant is about 0.5% of all infections nationally. There's hotspots in Southern California and Florida that may be closer to 1%, but it's going to double every week. So it's about doubling every week. That's the experience from other countries and that's the experience we've seen so far in the United States. So it's 1% now. It'll be 2%, then 4%, then 8%, then 16%, then 32%. So in about five weeks, this is going to start to take over."

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

How to Survive the New COVID-19 Mutation

You'll need to get vaccinated, wear your face mask, and avoid crowds to stay remotely safe. "The only backstop against this new variant is the fact that we will have a lot of infection by then. So there'll be a lot of immunity in the population and we will be vaccinating more people," said Gottlieb. "But this really changes the equation. And I think what we're looking at is a relentless strike from this virus heading into the spring, whereas infections really would have started to decline in the spring. We would have had a quiet spring. We could have persistently high levels of infection in the spring until we finally get enough people vaccinated."

So follow the public fundamentals and help end this surge, especially since there's a more transmissible virus out there—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.