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Testing czar says Covid-19 variant no 'reason for alarm'

Adm. Brett Giroir, the Trump administration’s coronavirus testing czar, said the Department of Health and Human Services will continue to watch a variant strain of coronavirus that’s been reported in Britain in recent weeks.

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“Viruses mutate,” Giroir said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “We’ve seen almost 4,000 different mutations among this virus. There is no indication that the mutation right now that they’re talking about is overcoming England.”

Giroir said there shouldn’t be “any reason for alarm right now” over the news, but that the department will continue to monitor it.

“We don’t know that it’s more dangerous and, very importantly, we have not seen a single mutation yet that would make it evade the vaccine,” he said. “I can’t say that won’t happen in the future, but right now it looks like the vaccine will cover everything that we see.”

The testing czar also provided an update about the state of vaccinations in the United States, noting that every American who wants a vaccine should have access to one by June 2021.

He reiterated that to get through the rest of the holiday season Americans should continue to wear a mask, socially distance and wash their hands.

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“The most important things that Americans need to know, is that although we see the end of the pandemic in sight — and it will end with vaccination widespread in this country — we have a lot of work to do,” he said. “The lives of tens of thousands of Americans depend on what we do.”

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