Health Experts Tesitfy On Delta Variant

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A huge jump: Delta variant now responsible for 83% of new US cases

By Ben Burke (Producer)

After a dramatic jump in just the last few weeks, the Delta variant is now responsible for 83 percent of new cases in the United States. This, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who testified along with Dr. Anthony Fauci in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Tuesday morning. Video of their testimony can be found in the video above.

The 83 percent figure is compared to 50 percent, which was recorded the week of July 3. “In some parts of the country, the percentage is even higher, particularly in areas of low vaccination rates,” Dr. Walensky said.

According to Dr. Fauci, the variant has now been detected in at least 90 countries throughout the world. “The reason it’s so formidable is the fact that it has the capability of transmitting efficiently from human to human in an extraordinary manner well beyond any of the other variants that we’ve experienced up to now, which has led to its becoming the dominant variant in this country,” Dr. Fauci said.

He went on to reemphasize the effectiveness of the vaccine in slowing the spread of the variant. “Our vaccines that we’re using in this country are very effective against this variant, particularly, I point out, to the situation regarding advanced disease leading to hospitalizations and deaths where it’s still well in the 90% of effectiveness,” Dr. Fauci said.

Also at the hearing, Dr. Walensky addressed the upcoming school year and how schools can best keep their students and staff safe. “We continue to recommend that schools implement layered prevention strategies to protect those who are not fully vaccinated and encourage vaccination for those who are eligible. Masks continue to be a critical part of these layered prevention strategies,” Dr. Walensky said. “Working together, school administrators and public health workers can carefully consider community transmission rates, local vaccine coverage and occurrence of outbreaks when deciding what strategies are needed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard in-person education.”

Sen. Patty Murray, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman: “We are at a point of great promise and peril in the fight against COVID-19. While I am encouraged by the fact that two thirds of adults in our country have received their first dose of vaccine, I am alarmed by how the rate of vaccination has been slowing and how driven by the Delta variant rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths are once again on the rise.”

Sen. Richard Burr, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Ranking member: “COVID won’t just go away. We need all Americans who can get the vaccine to get the vaccine. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your friends, your families, for your neighbors and your local community, do it for your grandchildren so they can go back to school, do it for your grandparents so they can finally go out and eat.”

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director: “CDC has released estimates of variants across the country and predicted the Delta variant now represents 83% of sequenced cases. This is a dramatic increase from up from 50% the week of July 3rd. In some parts of the country, the percentage is even higher, particularly in areas of low vaccination rates. The message from CDC remains clear the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 variants is to prevent the spread of disease. And vaccination is the most powerful tool we have. We must continue to expand vaccine coverage by building trust and confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. And this is particularly important in communities of color, rural communities and other population groups at risk. We continue to recommend that schools implement layered prevention strategies to protect those who are not fully vaccinated and encourage vaccination for those who are eligible. Masks continue to be a critical part of these layered prevention strategies. Working together, school administrators and public health workers can carefully consider community transmission rates, local vaccine coverage and occurrence of outbreaks when deciding what strategies are needed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard in person education.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: “It has now been detected in at least 90 plus countries throughout the world. The reason it’s so formidable is the fact that it has the capability of transmitting efficiently from human to human in an extraordinary manner well beyond any of the other variants that we’ve experienced up to now, which has led to its becoming the dominant variant in this country. Our vaccines that we’re using in this country are very effective against this variant, particularly, I point out, to the situation regarding advanced disease leading to hospitalizations and deaths where it’s still well in the 90% of effectiveness.”

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After a dramatic jump in just the last few weeks, the Delta variant is now responsible for 83 percent of new cases in the United States. This, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who testified along with Dr. Anthony Fauci in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Tuesday morning. Video of their testimony can be found in the video above.

The 83 percent figure is compared to 50 percent, which was recorded the week of July 3. “In some parts of the country, the percentage is even higher, particularly in areas of low vaccination rates,” Dr. Walensky said.

According to Dr. Fauci, the variant has now been detected in at least 90 countries throughout the world. “The reason it’s so formidable is the fact that it has the capability of transmitting efficiently from human to human in an extraordinary manner well beyond any of the other variants that we’ve experienced up to now, which has led to its becoming the dominant variant in this country,” Dr. Fauci said.

He went on to reemphasize the effectiveness of the vaccine in slowing the spread of the variant. “Our vaccines that we’re using in this country are very effective against this variant, particularly, I point out, to the situation regarding advanced disease leading to hospitalizations and deaths where it’s still well in the 90% of effectiveness,” Dr. Fauci said.

Also at the hearing, Dr. Walensky addressed the upcoming school year and how schools can best keep their students and staff safe. “We continue to recommend that schools implement layered prevention strategies to protect those who are not fully vaccinated and encourage vaccination for those who are eligible. Masks continue to be a critical part of these layered prevention strategies,” Dr. Walensky said. “Working together, school administrators and public health workers can carefully consider community transmission rates, local vaccine coverage and occurrence of outbreaks when deciding what strategies are needed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard in-person education.”

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