UPDATED 8:50 AM PT – Monday, December 28, 2020
While some health officials have said there’s no evidence that a COVID-19 variant has hit the U.S., they cautioned it’s likely present.
Admiral Brett Grior, the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said Monday that no cases have been identified in the U.S. However, he suspects that a variant has already made its way to the country due to the likeliness of global spread.
“We have no evidence that it’s here, it’s certainly not widespread here,” Grior stated. “But we need to look and make sure it’s not here.”
However, the health official believes the COVID-19 vaccine will be highly effective against the new strain.
“There is increasing evidence it is more transmissible,” Grior continued. “We have no evidence that it is more serious. We still believe, don’t have absolute proof, that the vaccine will be more effective.”
#COVID19 cases are rising and many more people will get sick if we do not continue to #SlowTheSpread. If possible: Stay home, wear a mask, and wash your hands. For more info visit: https://t.co/dKOA7Qw57H pic.twitter.com/9EZfeImtpN
— ADM Brett P. Giroir (@HHS_ASH) December 22, 2020
Giror added, Americans should get tested before and after they travel.