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Contagious COVID-19 Variants Spreading Across U.S.

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The COVID-19 variant first discovered in Brazil has been detected in a New York patient for the first time. This comes as contagious variants spread across the country; Michael George reports for CBS2.

Video Transcript

JESSICA MOORE: The COVID-19 variant first discovered in Brazil has been detected in a New York patient for the first time. We're told the 90-year-old did not travel and is being treated at Mount Sinai Hospital.

This all coming as contagious variants are spreading across the country. Here's CBS2's Michael George.

ANTHONY FAUCI: The UK.

MICHAEL GEORGE: Dr. Anthony Fauci says more contagious COVID variants spreading around the US can be fought with vaccines, social distancing, and masks.

ANTHONY FAUCI: If we don't do those things, there is a threat that we will see a surge coming up.

RAND PAUL: You've been vaccinated and you parade around in two masks for show.

ANTHONY FAUCI: Masks are not theater. Masks are protective.

MICHAEL GEORGE: Fauci addressed his exchange on Capitol Hill this week with Republican Senator Rand Paul, who's also a medical doctor.

ANTHONY FAUCI: His point was that if you're vaccinated, you shouldn't be wearing a mask. In fact as more people get vaccinated just put masks away, it's theater. That's ridiculous.

MICHAEL GEORGE: Dr. Fauci cited a new study that finds people aged 65 and older are more prone to being reinfected by the coronavirus. But as the pandemic begins its second year, mask wearing continues to be a source of division.

- Join us in the fight to regain our constitutional freedoms.

MICHAEL GEORGE: In Phoenix, a group burned masks and held up signs against vaccines.

In Texas City, Texas--

- I'm trying to school you people on my rights!

MICHAEL GEORGE: This woman was arrested for a second time after refusing to wear a mask in a store.

But amid the strife, signs of life the way Americans knew it. In Oakland, California, kids relished the reopening of an amusement park, while kids of all ages celebrated as the curtain rose at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles for the first time in more than a year.

Michael George, CBS News.

JESSICA MOORE: To date, the US has administered 100 million vaccine shots.