The COVID-19 Delta variant is far more virulent, carries a higher risk of severe infection than what health experts have led the public to believe, and has a greater likelihood of causing breakthrough infections among vaccinated people according to internal documents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that were leaked on Thursday.
The alarming findings by the CDC run contrary to what President Joe Biden has been saying for months, which is that individuals who have been inoculated against the coronavirus do not have to wear masks. And in what is approaching 24 hours since The Washington Post first obtained and published the data, neither CDC Director Doctor Rochelle Walensky nor Doctor Anthony Fauci has addressed the matter or taken questions from the media, raising serious questions about what government officials knew and when they knew it.
Nevertheless, the CDC determined that the Delta variant is more contagious than SARS, MERS, Ebola, Smallpox, Bird Flu, the 1918 Spanish Flu, Polio, seasonal influenza, the common cold, the Alpha variant of SARS-COV-2, and the chickenpox.
“The war has changed,” the documents acknowledged, adding that “given higher transmissibility and current vaccine coverage, universal masking is essential.”
One unnamed CDC official admitted to The New York Times that the agency “is very concerned with the data coming in that Delta is a very serious threat that requires action now.”
The statistics are alarming, as the Times explained on Friday:
There were 71,000 new cases per day on average in the United States, as of Thursday. The new data suggest that vaccinated people are spreading the virus and contributing to those numbers — although probably to a far lesser degree than the unvaccinated.
Infection with the Delta variant produces virus amounts in the airways that are tenfold higher than what is seen in people infected with the Alpha variant, which is also highly contagious, the document noted.
Detailed analysis of the spread of cases showed that people infected with Delta carry enormous amounts of virus in their nose and throat, regardless of vaccination status, according to the CDC document.See Also
The amount of virus in a person infected with Delta is a thousandfold more than what is seen in people infected with the original version of the virus, according to one recent study.
The CDC document relies on data from multiple studies, including an analysis of a recent outbreak in Provincetown, Mass., which began after the town’s Fourth of July festivities. By Thursday, that cluster had grown to 882 cases. About 74 percent were vaccinated, local health officials have said.
Detailed analysis of the spread of cases showed that people infected with Delta carry enormous amounts of virus in their nose and throat, regardless of vaccination status, according to the CDC document.
One can imagine the field day that Republicans are going to have with what is a very bad look for the Biden Administration.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.