The United States may see its recent progress against the coronavirus wiped away by highly-contagious variants, CNN reports.

What’s going on?

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said this week that the United States is at risk of losing its recent progress against COVID-19, according to CNN.

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She said some areas are easing COVID-19 mandates due to the drop in cases, but she warned against it.

  • “I am really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from COVID-19,” she said.
  • “Please stay strong in your conviction. Continue wearing your well-fitting mask and taking the other public health prevention actions that we know work,” Walensky said.
  • “Ultimately, vaccination is what will bring us out of this pandemic. To get there, we need to vaccinate many more people.”

Worry over the variants

Part of Walensky’s fear stems from the novel coronavirus variants. The B.1.1.7 variant — which was originally discovered in the United Kingdom — represents 10% of all cases in the United States. That’s up from 1% to 4% just a few weeks back, Ars Technica reports.

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  • More data on the danger of that new variant may be coming soon, too.

The New York Times reports there may be a reason to worry about the Brazil COVID-19 variant since it has reportedly been known to cause reinfection among people who previously had COVID-19.