U.S. detects first case of COVID-19 variant as Biden offers gloomy vaccine outlook

The first known US case of a highly contagious coronavirus variant was detected in Colorado on Tuesday, and President-elect Joe Biden warned that it could take years for most Americans to be vaccinated for the virus at current distribution rates.

Biden’s brutal winter forecast was aimed at reducing public expectations that the pandemic would end after taking office on January 20, while also aiming to send a message to Congress that his administration would want to significantly increase spending to speed up vaccine distribution. testing and funding states to help reopen schools.

Democrat Biden said nearly 2 million people were vaccinated, well below the 20 million outgoing Republican President Donald Trump had promised by the end of the year. Biden defeated Trump in the November elections.

“The effort to distribute and administer the vaccine is not progressing as it should,” Biden said in Wilmington, Delaware. At the current rate, “it’s going to take years, not months, to vaccinate the American people.”

Shortly after Biden’s words, Colorado Governor Jared Police said his state had discovered the first case of highly contagious coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 detected in the UK. Scientists there believe the variant is more contagious than other predefined strains of the SAR-CoV-2 variant.

It has been detected in Canada, Australia, India, South Korea and Japan, as well as in some European countries.

Police said the infected patient was a man in his 20s with no recent travel history, who is currently in isolation in Denver.

“Public health officials are doing a thorough investigation” and the individual has “no close contacts identified so far,” he said, adding that the state has notified the federal government.

Biden’s goal of getting 100 million vaccines at the end of his 100th day in office would mean “increase five to six times the current rate to 1 million vaccines a day”. additional funding.

Even at such an ambitious rate, he said it would take months for most Americans to be vaccinated, adding that the situation might not improve “by March”.

Biden also said he plans to introduce the Defense Production Act, which authorizes the president to expand industrial production of essential materials or products for national security or other reasons to accelerate the production of vaccines.

Trump used the law himself during the epidemic.

To reopen schools safely, Biden said Congress should provide funding for things like additional transport to enable students to maintain social distance and improve ventilation in school buildings.

Biden added that Congress should also fund more tests and help pay for protective equipment for healthcare workers.

After completing his words, Biden defended the Trump administration’s record.

“It is up to the States to distribute the vaccines once brought to the designated areas by the Federal Government. We have not only developed the vaccines, including putting up money to move the process along quickly, but gotten them to the states,” he said on Twitter.

Trump, who had COVID-19 in October, often reduced the severity of the pandemic and oversaw a response that many health experts said was sporadic and knightly, and sometimes ignored the science behind disease transmission. -reuters-

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