Variant surveillance helps determine if emerging mutations are rendering the virus more contagious or resistant to existing vaccines and medicines.
Though optimism grows in the U.S. as more and more people get vaccinated, the global picture is far from rosy.
The United States has suffered nearly one-fifth of the world’s COVID-19 deaths, even as it accounts for just over 4 percent of the world’s population.
In the past seven days, the U.S. reported slightly more than 65,000 new COVID-19 cases per day on average, a jump of 20% from two weeks earlier.
A year after the pandemic shut down the country, a growing number of infectious disease experts, epidemiologists, public health officials and others have started to entertain the idea that the worst of the pandemic may be over for the United States.
CBS News lead national correspondent David Begnaud spoke with Johns Hopkins' head COVID-19 data scientist, whose team created one of the world's premier coronavirus data tracking resources.
For the first time since November, average new daily coronavirus infections in the U.S. fell under 100,000 — well below the average infection rate in December and January.
A coronavirus mutation that appears to limit the protection of vaccines against infection has appeared in the United Kingdom, which is already struggling with a highly transmissible and apparently more lethal virus variant.
The United States has never experienced a sharp and sustained decline in new coronavirus cases — until, perhaps, now.
As the United States marked another grim milestone with more than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths reported in a single day, federal disease trackers said research suggests that people without symptoms transmit more than half of all cases of the novel coronavirus.
The mutant variant of the novel coronavirus first seen in Britain is likely to be present in much of the United States.