Dr. Anthony Fauci issued a grave warning about the coronavirus pandemic this week, saying a variant worse than the delta variant could be lingering out there.

Fauci said the delta variant is spreading easily through the unvaccinated population, per the news site McClatchy. And it could get worse, as the virus has a number of opportunities to change into an even deadlier strain.

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Fauci said we’re lucky the COVID-19 vaccines can stop the delta variant. But a worse variant could still come from the mutation.

  • “If we don’t crush the outbreak to the point of getting the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated, then what will happen is the virus will continue to smolder through the fall into the winter, giving it ample chance to get a variant which, quite frankly, we’re very lucky that the vaccines that we have now do very well against the variants — particularly against severe illness,” Fauci said, according to McClatchy. “We’re very fortunate that that’s the case. There could be a variant that’s lingering out there that can push aside delta.”
  • “If another one comes along that has an equally high capability of transmitting but also is much more severe, then we could really be in trouble,” he said, according to The Sacramento Bee. “People who are not getting vaccinated mistakenly think it’s only about them. But it isn’t. It’s about everybody else, also.”

Indeed, experts told Newsweek that there could be worse variants than delta out there.

  • “I wouldn’t be incredibly surprised if something else came along that’s even more transmissible,” Eric Vail, director of molecular pathology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, told Newsweek.
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A new, deadly variant wouldn’t need much to spread, experts told Newsweek. One person could get it and spread it easily, which would lead to widespread infections everywhere.

We’re already seeing concern over the lambda variant. A new study — which not been peer-reviewed — suggested the lambda variant can spread fast and potentially evade vaccines, as I wrote for the Deseret News.