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ABC World News Tonight with David Muir_ script #2(A)_2021/12/03
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Episode #2 / 2021_12_03

 

 

We are going to move on now to the other major news this Tuesday night. In this new variant Omicron now spreading across the globe and what the CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said just today about what’s being done in the US right now for surveillance.

 

She said one out of every seven new cases is now being sequenced as they look for this variant here. Now confirmed cases in at least 20 countries. Tonight, three more countries in just the past 24 hours. And this evening the seemingly different messages from Moderna and Pfizer about the vaccines and how well they might protect people against Omicron. And tonight, why the level of antibodies in your system after both vaccine shots and the booster is so important. Here’s ABC’s Stephanie Ramos.

 

With the new variants spreading around the globe, the CDC director tonight says the country is on high alert and expanding surveillance in search of the first Omicron case in the US.

 

We have the tools and surveillance in place to identify the Omicron variants. We also have the tools to prevent Omicron from increasing the strain on our society and our healthcare system.

 

The administration offering free COVID testing for some international travelers at airports in New York, Atlanta, Newark and San Francisco. And labs around the country sequencing one in seven COVID-positive test samples.

 

I’m here at the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Lab in Albany, New York, where scientists are taking a closer look at positive COVID samples, about 800 of them a week.

 

Researchers here started hunting for Omicron just as soon as the variant with its 50 mutations was identified.

 

Is it possible that it's in the air, and that it’s already here in the US?

 

“That is absolutely, entirely possible. The statistical power of the sequencing programs and the surveillance programs is pretty high. So I think we should see it fairly promptly.”

 

More than 240 cases of Omicron have now been confirmed in 20 countries. But tonight, there are new questions about where it originated?