Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 219 million and Dr. Fauci says mu variant not an 'immediate threat'

The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness COVID-19 climbed above 219 million on Friday, while the death toll rose above 4.54 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world with a total of 39.6 million cases and 643,683 deaths. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, said Thursday the mu variant, declared a 'variant of interest' this week by the World Health Organization, is not an "immediate threat" as the delta variant continues to dominate in the U.S. He acknowledged that mu "has a constellation of mutations that suggests it would evade certain antibodies," but that vaccines remain effective against variants with similar characteristics, the New York Times reported. "Bottom line, we are paying attention to it," he said. "We take everything like that seriously, but we don't consider it an immediate threat right now." India has the second highest death toll after the U.S. at 439,895 and is third by cases at 32.9 million, the JHU data shows. Brazil has second highest death toll at 581,914 and has 20.8 million cases. In Europe, Russia has 182,341 deaths, followed by the U.K. with 133,244. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 219 million and Dr. Fauci says mu variant not an 'immediate threat'
The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness COVID-19 climbed above 219 million on Friday, while the death toll rose above 4.54 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world with a total of 39.6 million cases and 643,683 deaths. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, said Thursday the mu variant, declared a 'variant of interest' this week by the World Health Organization, is not an "immediate threat" as the delta variant continues to dominate in the U.S. He acknowledged that mu "has a constellation of mutations that suggests it would evade certain antibodies," but that vaccines remain effective against variants with similar characteristics, the New York Times reported. "Bottom line, we are paying attention to it," he said. "We take everything like that seriously, but we don't consider it an immediate threat right now." India has the second highest death toll after the U.S. at 439,895 and is third by cases at 32.9 million, the JHU data shows. Brazil has second highest death toll at 581,914 and has 20.8 million cases. In Europe, Russia has 182,341 deaths, followed by the U.K. with 133,244. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.