Christian Radio Host Claims New COVID-19 Variants Are ‘Less Deadly,’ Science Says COVID-19 Variants Are Beating Vaccines

Christian radio host Frank Sontag claimed on Los Angeles-based KKLA on Jan. 18 that the new variants of the COVID-19 virus are “less deadly” and “less devastating” because they are mutations of the original virus.

Sontag, a long time COVID-19 denier, claimed he spoke to some doctors, but didn’t name them during his misinformation spiel:

You may be hearing more media reports about this new, uhh, is it a variant? It’s a different strain of Covid. I have this on first-hand knowledge from a number of doctors that I talk to. A virus always mutates. This is nothing new or surprising.

In the overwhelming amount of cases, I heard one doctor say 99 point whatever percent, the new strain, the new variant, is less deadly, or whatever terminology you’re gonna throw in there.

It’s less devastating. It’s just the nature of mutations. It gets weaker. So guard your mind, guard your hearts, educate yourself because the media, the mainstream media, boy, they are all about perpetuating this doom and gloom as it applies to Covid.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Jan. 29 that the South Africa COVID-19 variant is proving to be highly resistant to vaccines in new clinical trials:

The U.S. company Novavax reported this week that although its vaccine was nearly 90% effective in clinical trials conducted in Britain, the figure fell to 49% in South Africa — and that nearly all the infections the company analyzed in South Africa involved the B.1.351 variant that emerged there late last year and has spread to the United States and at least 30 other countries.

Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its new shot was 72% effective against preventing moderate or severe illness in the United States, compared with 66% in Latin America and 57% in South Africa.

Laboratory tests had suggested that the vaccines authorized in the U.S. — one from Pfizer and BioNTech, the other from Moderna and the National Institutes of Health — trigger a smaller immune response to the South Africa variant…

Researchers once believed it would take several more months, or even years, for the virus to develop resistance to vaccines. They said the speedy evolution is largely a result of the virus’ unchecked spread...

A mutation that happens to give the virus an advantage — the ability to resist the body’s natural defenses, for example — can become the basis for a heartier variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes the UK B.1.1.7 variant infects people faster, but is not reported to be weaker or less dangerous:

The increased transmissibility of the B.1.1.7 variant warrants universal and increased compliance with mitigation strategies, including distancing and masking. Higher vaccination coverage might need to be achieved to protect the public.

Scientific American also reports the mutations are dangerous:

Specifically, they appear to help the virus transmit more readily and evade the immune system. This month researchers reported, for the first time, that antibodies from individuals with COVID did not completely neutralize a variant first identified in South Africa. A few people who recovered from the disease also appear to have been reinfected with the mutant virus.

(Sources: KKLA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, Scientific American)

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