Fauci: 20% of new COVID-19 cases are from delta variant
Anthony S. Fauci, MD, said 20% of new COVID-19 cases in the United States stem from the delta variant, which will become the dominant strain in the country within weeks.
In an interview on NBC’s “TODAY” show Wednesday morning, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said cases tied to the delta variant doubled in two weeks.
“It just exploded in the United Kingdom,” Fauci said. “It went from a minor variant to now more than 90% of the isolates.”
First identified in India, the B.1.617.2 variant, commonly referred to as delta, made its way to the United Kingdom and now accounts for more than 91% of all cases in that country, U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC 2 weeks ago.
According to Imperial College London epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, OBE, FMedSci, the variant is estimated to be 60% more transmissible than the alpha variant, which previously predominated in the U.K., Reuters reported.
According to the CDC, as of the week ending on June 5, the delta variant had made up only 9.5% of total U.S. COVID-19 cases.
According to the U.K.’s government tracker, COVID-19 cases from the delta variant more than doubled from the average from the month before.
“So, you would expect, just the doubling time in several weeks to a month or so, [the variant is] going to be quite dominant [in the U.S.]. That’s sobering news,” Fauci said.
CDC. Variant proportions. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#variant-proportions. Accessed June 23, 2021.