California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that the new, more easily transmissible strain of coronavirus found recently in the United Kingdom had also been discovered in California.
Newsom made the announcement during a discussion on Facebook Live with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci explained that while the new strain seemed to bind more easily to target cells, there was “no indication at all that it increases the virulence” of the disease, meaning that it would not make patients sicker or more susceptible to dying.
Moreover, he said, it seemed that the new strain would not re-infect people who had already had the old strain, and was not resistant to the vaccines that are being rolled out across the U.S.
The first known case of the new coronavirus strain was announced Tuesday in Colorado.
California is going through an intense surge in COVID-19 cases, and has reached “zero” ICU capacity, as hospitals across the state implement “surge” capacity to expand their ability to take in coronavirus patients.
Newsom recently extended a stay-at-home order for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, which will last into mid-January if it not canceled.
Fauci told Newsom that the politicization of the coronavirus was worse than anything he had experienced in his career, and had complicated efforts to take public health measures against its spread.
He specifically criticized the federalist structure of the U.S., saying that some states had opened up their economies again in defiance of federal guidelines.
Fauci served on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus team and has accepted a similar role in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.