“This is about both doing the near term work of supporting sequencing but also really building out that infrastructure,” Ms. Johnson stated.

In February, the Biden administration put ahead $200 million as a “down payment” on a extra strong surveillance program, with the purpose of sequencing 29,000 samples weekly. Officials described it as an early step in constructing out the federal authorities’s capability to sequence extra samples.

Earlier this month, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the C.D.C. director, said that the B.1.1.7 variant, which is presently estimated to be about 60 percent more contagious and 67 percent extra deadly than the authentic model, had turn into the most typical supply of new infections in the United States. The C.D.C. has additionally been tracking the unfold of different variants, comparable to B.1.351, first present in South Africa, and P.1, which was first recognized in Brazil.

Ms. Johnson stated that the funding would assist well being officers throughout the nation reply to outbreaks in a extra subtle means, together with by surging testing in sure areas or contemplating new mitigation methods.

When B.1.1.7 was first detected in the United States at the finish of December, consultants warned that the nation was poorly ready to observe coronavirus variants, missing a nationwide plan for gathering samples and analyzing their mutations to decide the variants’ unfold.

In January, the United States was sequencing samples from lower than 1 p.c of constructive coronavirus assessments. Researchers stated that merely wasn’t sufficient data to know the way widespread variants actually have been and the way rapidly they have been spreading. By distinction, Britain, the world’s chief in genomic surveillance, was sequencing up to 10 p.c of new constructive assessments.

Over the previous three months, the C.D.C. has charted a regular rise in the quantity of coronavirus genomes sequenced weekly in the United States, recording a new excessive of 14,837 for the week ending April 10. The quantity represented about3 p.c of the nation’s constructive assessments that week.



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