Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters during a July 27 teleconference that her biggest concern is that the CCP virus may be “just a few mutations” away from being able to evade vaccines.
“The largest concern that I think we in public health and science are worried about is that virus and the potential mutations. We have a very transmissible virus, which has the potential to evade our vaccines in terms of how it protects us from severe disease and death,” Walensky said.
“Right now, fortunately, we are not there. These vaccines operate really well in protecting us from severe disease and death. But the big concern is the next variant that might emerge, just a few mutations potentially away, could potentially evade our vaccines.”
Walensky advised that the threat of a COVID-19 variant that’s immune to current vaccines is the reason more Americans should be vaccinated in a bid to contain the virus and its mutations. More than 163 million Americans have been fully vaccinated as of July 27, according to the CDC.
The CDC issued new guidance on July 27 advising fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors if they’re “in an area of substantial or high transmission.” More than 63 percent of counties within the United States had substantial or high COVID-19 transmission rates as of July 27, according to the CDC.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
The guidance is a reversal of the advisory the agency issued in May, which stated that fully vaccinated people didn’t have to wear masks indoors and in most other settings.
The latest surge in COVID-19 cases in the United States has been driven by the spread of the Delta variant of the CCP virus. The variant comprised more than half of all new infections by early June and has become more prevalent since then, according to the CDC’s strain surveillance program.
“We are dealing with a much different strain of this virus than we were even earlier in the spring, back in May, when the masking guidance was done—provided by the CDC at that time,” White House press secretary Jenn Psaki told reporters on July 27, addressing questions about the variant and the new CDC guidance.
“Their job is to look at evolving information, evolving data, an evolving historic pandemic, and provide guidance to the American public.”