Around $200 million will be invested by the United States in the field of genome sequencing in order to research and identify the variants of COVID-19 that have been emerging around the world and pushing the impact of the pandemic over the edge.
The number of samples acquired by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to surge to around 25,000 from 7,000 with the increased funding.
The containment of the outbreak has previously been hindered in the US due to a substantial deficit in virus tracking, unlike many countries that have been prioritising mitigation of the spread.
B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 has been detected 1,277 times in the US, according to Rochelle Walensky, the director of CDC. The variant detected in the US also includes the first case in the country which posses the E484K mutation, which has increased potential to reject the prevention provided by the COVID-19 vaccines that are being administered around the world.
Nineteen cases of the B.1.351 variant first identified in South Africa and three cases of the P.1 variant have also been detected.
Moreover, around $815 million have also been allotted towards improving the production of testing supplies in the US in addition to $650 million to help boost testing in areas like homeless shelters and schools.
Approximately 27 million positive cases have been reported in the US to date out of which 488,000 deaths have been reported, making the country the worst impacted in the world. However, the vaccinations in the US have been picking up a significant pace.
More than 39 million people have been inoculated with one or more doses of the Moderna or Pfizer jabs, almost 12% of the US population of 330 million.
The US President's advisor for the pandemic, Anthony Fauci, recently stated that research undertaken in Israel and Spain have hinted that the vaccinated individuals who were asymptomatic have reduced viral load.
He said, "The vaccine is important not only for the health of the individual to protect them against infection and disease, including the variants... but it also has very important implications from a public health standpoint, for interfering and diminishing the dynamics of the outbreak."