On Sunday, a former FDA commissioner warned that the Delta variant
could soon be responsible for “very dense outbreaks” of the illness in the United States
The Delta variant, which was discovered in India
, is now found in 49 states and 85 countries, and it is significantly more transmissible and can cause more severe disease than other strains.
Outbreaks in the United States will most likely be "hyper-regionalized," with communities with low vaccination
and immunity rates bearing the brunt of the damage, according to Dr. Scott Gottlieb
on "Face the Nation."
“I think as you look across the United States, if you have a community with low vaccination rates and you also think there was low prior, low-immunity from prior infection so the virus really hasn’t coursed through the local population, those communities are vulnerable,” Gottlieb said.
The Delta variant now accounts for the majority of new COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom
, and Gottlieb believes the United States is only a month or two behind. However, while cases are increasing in Britain, they are not increasing at the same rate as earlier in the pandemic
, and there have only been about 1,000 hospitalizations out of 90,000 cases, with the vast majority of those being people
“The experience in the United States is likely to be similar,” he said, with the exception of certain areas of the country, such as rural areas of the South with low rates of vaccination and prior illness.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson
(R) also told “Face the Nation” that the increase in hospitalizations caused by COVID-19 included people who had not been vaccinated; Arkansas currently has a 50% vaccination rate among adults, but “we’ve got to get that higher,” he said.
“The Delta variant is a major concern for us, and we are seeing an increase in cases and hospitalizations as a result of it,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson blamed vaccine hesitancy in his state on conspiracy
theories and safety concerns, as well as the fact that when cases are low, people simply do not believe COVID-19 is serious enough to warrant
The full interview
with Gottlieb can be found above, and the interview with Governor
Asa Hutchinson can be found here:
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On our coronavirus hub page, you can find all of this and more.