Dr. Fauci Reveals The Truth About The New COVID-19 Strain

A new COVID-19 strain has been identified in the U.K., leading some people to call for a travel ban from the country. Dr. Anthony Fauci, however, thinks that such a ban "might be premature," especially as he believes that the virus could already be in the U.S.

Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and an infectious disease expert, said on PBS NewsHour (via the New York Post) that "given the travel throughout the world," it's likely that it has already arrived here. "When we start to look for it, we're going to find it," he said, adding "you have to make that assumption." According to Fauci, the mutation "is not yet the prevalent" strain of COVID-19 in the U.S., although "it seems to have assumed that prevalent nature in the U.K."

Per The New York Times, research suggests that this strain of COVID-19 could be more contagious than others. The outlet added that, while the strain has not yet been identified in the U.S., this could be because "British scientists have established a much stronger system to monitor coronaviruses for new mutations."

The new COVID-19 strain is no cause for alarm

While the new strain has many people worried, it is not believed that it causes more severe symptoms in infected patients than other strains. It is also not believed to be vaccine resistant — the COVID-19 vaccine that is now being rolled out should also work to prevent people from becoming infected with this strain of the virus.

Fauci has urged people not to panic about the new strain or to worry about travel from the U.K. to the U.S. "I think we should seriously consider the possibility of requiring testing of people before they come from the UK here," he said.

Fauci continued, "But I don't think that there is enough evidence right now to essentially lock down any travel from the UK, but seriously to consider the possibility that you might want to require people who are coming here to be tested within a period of time, you know, 24, 34, or 76 hours before they get on a plane to come to the United States."