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White House Covid Task Force warns of potential new leadership for 'American surrogate'

White House Covid Task Force warns of potential new leadership for ‘American surrogate’

Health care workers prepare vaccines for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Los Angeles, California, Jan 7, 2021.

Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

The White House Coronavirus Task Force said that there may be a new type of virus developing in the United States and leading to its spread, according to a document obtained by NBC News.

The new variant, in addition to the British variant, is already spreading in societies and may be 50% more transmissible, according to the report released to the countries on January 3.

The task force said the recent rise in cases was twice the rate recorded in the spring and summer, according to the report. The United States records at least 228,400 new cases of Covid-19 and at least 2,760 virus-related deaths every day, based on an average of seven days. Calculated by CNBC using Johns Hopkins University data. The United States announced Thursday its bloodiest day with more than 4,000 people killed.

“This acceleration indicates that there may be an American variant evolving here, in addition to the British variant which is already spreading in our societies and may be 50% more transmissible,” the report said. “Violent mitigation should be used for more aggressive virus matching; without standardized implementation of effective face masking (two or three layers and well-fitting) and strict social distancing, epidemics can rapidly worsen as these variants spread and become prevalent.”

Representatives for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.

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Few details about the new US pressure were provided in the report, including how long they were in circulation. In recent weeks, the United States has ramped up genetic sequences to try to discover other strains.

Public health officials were already concerned about the arrival of a new strain of the virus found in the United Kingdom, which is known As B.1.1.7.

The CDC has identified at least 52 cases of Covid-19 with the B.1.1.7 mutation in the United States, according to data published on the agency’s website last update Thursday. However, the CDC warns that their numbers “do not represent the total number of B.1.1.7 cases that may be in circulation in the United States” and may not match the numbers reported by local officials.

So far, the CDC has only shown California, Florida, New York, Colorado and Georgia with cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, but other states such as Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Texas announced the strain’s arrival in their states on Thursday.

Michael Osterholm, Member of the President-elect Joe BidenThe Covid-19 Advisory Board said Tuesday that the United States will likely see more new variants of the virus emerge.

Osterholm, an epidemiologist and The director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota said in an interview with CNBC that the strain that was discovered in the United Kingdom is “a very big concern.”

“It is the first of what is likely to be a number of these strains that appear while we are at this stage of the epidemic,” he added.

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