New COVID strain 'not any more serious' than common version, White House testing chief says

"You can still protect yourself by the mitigation measures," Admiral Brett Giroir said on Fox News Sunday.

Updated: December 28, 2020 - 8:37am

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A new strain of coronavirus detected in the United Kingdom is not more threatening than the version that currently predominates throughout the world, the White House COVID testing chief said.

Admiral Brett Giroir, an M.D. and assistant health secretary, made his comments about the more infectious strain today on "Fox News Sunday."

"We don’t know if it’s here or not, there’s certainly a possibility that it’s here or not," Giroir said while appearing on the show. "It is not any more serious than the normal strains of COVID. You can still protect yourself by the mitigation measures … we have no evidence to suggest, nor do we believe that the vaccine would not be effective."

Procedures already are in place in the United States for travelers entering the country from the U.K. or continental Europe, he said. Still, he noted, "we would certainly encourage states to have quarantine orders or to have testing once these travelers arrive" from the United Kingdom.

Officials are not concerned about the virus being spread between passengers aboard airlines, Giroir indicated.

"What we really worry about is the mingling of bubbles once you get to your destination," he said.


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