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Dr. Fauci Issues New "Sobering" Warning

Of the new variant, Fauci says “the sobering news is that it does spread more rapidly.”
FACT CHECKED BY Checkmark Emilia Paluszek
Director Of Nat'l Institute of Allergy And Infectious Diseases Discusses Global Health Threats

In December 2020, it was revealed that COVID-19 had mutated. Since the first announcement out of the UK, a few different variants have been identified, originating in the European country, Brazil, and South America. During a Thursday appearance on Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discussed the virus mutations with Savannah Guthrie, issuing a “sobering” warning about them. Read on to find out what he had to say—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Says the “Sobering” News is that the Variant “Does Spread More Rapidly”

“We take it very seriously,” Dr. Fauci explained when asked about the new UK variant, and whether it is more transmissible than the original. “The sobering news is that it does spread more rapidly.”

However, he did point out that the situation is not hopeless. “We know that from the UK experience, the uplifting news is that the vaccines that we now have, the Moderna and the Pfizer, and very likely the ones that will be coming soon, seem to do well against this UK variant,” he said. “If you look at the invitro in the test tube, looking at vaccine induced antibodies that you and I would get if we were vaccinated, it seems to work well against this UK strain.” 

While the vaccine will be helpful in protecting the world against COVID-19, our work in terms of preventative measures against the virus is far from over. In fact, he emphasized that there are two things we need to do to slow the spread and protect ourselves and others against the deadly virus. 

“Step up the public health measures of the masking, the physical distancing, the things we talk about all the time,” he said. The second? “Making sure we very expeditiously, get people vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can,” he said. “If we do those two things, as serious as we take this variant, we will be able to meet that challenge.”

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How to Stay Safe During This Pandemic

So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—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.