The highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 currently poses the greatest threat to eradicating the pandemic, according to an announcement Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House's chief medical adviser, made on Tuesday.
"Similar to the situation in the [United Kingdom], the delta variant is currently the greatest threat to the [United States] to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19," Fauci said during a White House COVID-19 response briefing according to NBC News.
The delta variant, which was first identified in India, has recently become the dominant strain in the U.K., surpassing the alpha variant, first discovered in the U.K. in the fall. The delta strain now makes up 90 percent of new cases in the U.K. and has delayed the country's scheduled reopening.
"The transmissibility is unquestionably greater than the wild type of SARS-CoV-2 as well as the alpha variant." Fauci added. "It is associated with an increased disease severity as reflected by hospitalization risk."
Fauci said the good news was that the vaccines against COVID-19 have shown to be effective against the variant.
"We have the tools, so let's use them and crush the outbreak," Fauci said.
Fauci's comment came as the White House acknowledged Tuesday that it is likely to fall short of its July 4 goal of getting at least 70 percent of American adults vaccinated. However, according to The Hill, at least 70 percent of American adults over the age of 30 have received at least one dose of vaccine.
But, despite the threat from the delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cited that there was a decrease in new cases in the U.S. by 18 percent from the previous week at 10,352 new cases. It is the lowest number of new cases since the pandemic began back in March 2020.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.