No evidence UK variant causes more severe illness or increased risk of death: CDC

The White House is now considering a mandate for anyone traveling from the U.K. to test negative before flying due to early evidence that suggested the mutated virus may be more contagious.
3:46 | 12/23/20

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Transcript for No evidence UK variant causes more severe illness or increased risk of death: CDC
Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on this Tuesday night. Just a couple of nights until Christmas, of course, and we have news on pfizer reportedly nearing a deal tonight with the trump administration on tens of millions of new doses of the and the testing here in the U.S. Now, here in New York, for that new variant of the virus. So far, scientists say there is no evidence that these vaccines won't work against it. And all of this comes amid that headline from the associated press this afternoon, that 2020 is now the deadliest year in U.S. History. More than 3 million American lives lost. Covid, the third-leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer and as you know, there have been several weeks this year when it was the leading cause of death. And the number soaring again today. The U.S. Now reporting more than 322,000 deaths. The country now averaging more than 2,600 deaths every 24 hours. Tonight, "The New York Times" reporting pfizer is nearing that deal. Millions more doses for the U.S. What the company is now saying tonight. And new reporting here on what could be a more contagious variant of covid, though they are still studying this. And what some airlines are now doing before flights from the uk to the U.S. And New York tonight ordering hospitals across the state to test specifically for this variant. Dr. Anthony Fauci getting the vaccine today before the cameras, saying the variant is likely already here in the U.S. And tonight, the U.S. Suffering through its worst month since March now, reporting an astounding 1 million new cases in just four days. ABC's Stephanie Ramos leading us off tonight. Reporter: Tonight, a major deal reportedly in the works to get tens of millions more vaccines to Americans. According to "The New York Times," pfizer is negotiating with the U.S. Government to deliver as many as 110 million much-needed doses between April and June of next year. Now, both pfizer and modern testing their vaccines to make sure they're effective against the new mutation rapidly spreading in the uk. So far, indications are they both still work. Tonight, officials in New York now testing to see if the strain has made it here. We want to test for the variant. If it's here, we want to know it. We want to isolate it Reporter: But top coronavirus task force members warning the potentially more contagious variant is likely already in the U.S. When you have this amount of spread within a place like the uk, that you really need to assume that it's here already. Reporter: The white house now considering a mandate for anyone traveling from the uk to test negative before flying. Three airlines will begin testing pengers on flights to New York Christmas eve. Mutated virus may be as high as 70% more contagious, but more studies need to be done. Tonight, the CDC saying there is no evidence the variant causes a more severe illness or increased risk of death. Viruses mutate all the time. That's what they do. That doesn't mean that a vaccine won't work. Reporter: In a move to boost confidence in the vaccine, Dr. Anthony Fauci getting his modern injection today, along with health and human services secretary Alex Azar. I want to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to get vaccinated, so that we can have a veil of protection over this country that would end this pandemic. The public effort to reassure the American people. Stephanie back with us tonight. I want to turn back to that news late today, Stephanie, report about a deal for tens of millions of additional doses from pfizer for the coming spring. What's pfizer saying so far tonight? Reporter: Well, David, pfizer has just provided us with a statement, I'll read it to you. "We continue to work collaboratively with the U.S. Government to get doses of our covid-19 vaccine to as many

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