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Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill on March 18 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies throughout a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee listening to on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill on March 18 in Washington, DC. Susan Walsh/Pool/Getty Images

The United States is now sequencing 10,000 to 14,000 samples of coronavirus each week in its search for instances of new variants throughout the nation, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated Thursday.  

But much more sequencing is required to maintain on prime of the unfold of regarding new variants, Walensky instructed a listening to of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

“We’re now doing somewhere between 10,000 and 14,000 sequences a week,” Walensky stated. “Right now, we really would like to be up at the 25,000 range.” 

The US is doing far much less genomic sequencing than different nations, such because the UK, and the CDC stated this implies there’s not a clear image of the unfold of variants. The CDC has forecast that the extra contagious B.1.1.7 variant would be the dominant model of the virus throughout the US by the top of March. 

What the CDC wants: Walensky stated the company wants the cash allotted within the American Rescue Plan to step up sequencing functionality. “The additional $1.75 billion is in fact essential to help fund jurisdictions for next genome sequencing capacity,” she stated. “Not all jurisdictions have this capacity and we really do need to be able to scale this up across the country.”

Equipment can be wanted to sequence samples, and skilled employees are important, Walensky stated. “We need to develop a work force, so that people understand how to do genomic epidemiology,” she stated. “That is not standard application. That is not what people standardly know and so we need to develop that work force.”



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