New Covid variant ‘spreading like wildfire’, but here’s the good news…

A new subvariant of the coronavirus is picking up steam in the United States, and this isn’t good news for anyone.

Described by The Atlantic as “an Omicron offshot,” the new strain, XBB.1.5, is particularly problematic because it spreads ultra quickly and is “immune-evasive,” meaning immunity of any type isn’t as likely to thwart it.

Indeed, according to White House COVID response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha, the percentage of new COVID infections caused by XBB.1.5 skyrocketed from 4 percent to 41 percent in the United States during December alone.

How, though? Thanks to the variant’s spike proteins, Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel said Thursday.

“The spike proteins are like suction cups. So, the more it can get a grip … the more easily it transmits from cell to cell,” he explained.

And apparently, XBB.1.5’s “suction cups” are really good at what they do.

They’re so good that XBB.1.5 “is the most transmissible form of Omicron to date,” Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist with the World Health Organization, reportedly said during a press conference Wednesday.

Incidentally, this bombshell fact led former Fox News host Lou Dobbs to ask why the White House isn’t leading on this issue:

But how exactly did XBB.1.5 become this strong?

“XBB.1.5 is the product of recombination: Two descendants of BA.2, the subvariant that drove a modest wave of cases in the US in April, swapped pieces of their genetic code, resulting in 14 new mutations to the virus’ spike proteins compared with BA.2, and a new sublineage, XBB,” according to CNN.

“XBB drove a wave of cases in Singapore this fall but never gained much ground in the US. Here, it had to compete against a slew of co-circulating variants that had each independently evolved some of the same mutations, making them more equally matched,” CNN explained Tuesday.

The only potential good news is that XBB.1.5 has thus far not been shown to be any more deadly than its predecessors, which in general weren’t that deadly to begin with. However, this doesn’t mean it won’t one day be shown to be just as bad, if not worse. But for the time being, scientists simply aren’t seeing any signs.

“It doesn’t appear to be causing any more severe illness, and so I think that it’s a very different situation circulating today than had it been a year ago. There’s so much more immunity in the population that I don’t think that it’s going to take off,” Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy told CNN.

Dr. Isaach Bogoch, an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, concurs.

“We might certainly have a wave, but it’s just much less likely to be as deadly or overwhelming to a health care system compared to earlier waves before we had this degree of hybrid immunity,” he told NBC News.

This is good news, because it doesn’t appear like the American people are ready for anymore COVID restrictions, lockdowns, and, frankly, fear-mongering.

Indeed, the social media response to this “new COVID” appears to show as much.

Look:

The good news is that lockdown zealot Dr. Anthony Fauci is long gone, and there doesn’t appear to be any signs of new incoming COVID restrictions …

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Vivek Saxena

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