Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told CNN’s Erica Hill on Wednesday that he was concerned about what is being missed with coronavirus surveillance and that “this has been a concern of mine for several months.”
“We don’t have the kind of really rigorous surveillance system that would help us right now to find out what are the new variants that are circulating in the united States,” Collins said, adding that the United Kingdom has a “much more vigorous” surveillance system, which is how health experts there found the new variant.
Collins said US surveillance “is going to get beefed up now, and we will be able to determine this.”
“It’s unlikely that this mutant is not already here, given that it was first detected in the UK back in September and there’s been a lot of people going back and forth,” he said. “So, it would be surprising if it has not arrived on our shores.”