FACT CHECK: No, The COVID-19 Delta Variant Is Not Fake
An image shared on Facebook over 1,700 times claims the COVID-19 Delta variant is “Fake News.”
The Delta variant has been detected in over 100 countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) designated it a “variant of concern.”
The highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 was first identified in India late last year, according to Yale Medicine. It has since been detected in over 100 countries, including the U.S., according to the WHO’s July 6 weekly epidemiological report.
A viral image attempts to falsely allege in a post that the Delta variant is fake. The Facebook post includes a doctored photo of former President Donald Trump holding a folder with the words “The Delta Variant Is Fake News.” The picture of Trump posing with the folder is commonly used as a meme template. (RELATED: Does The Moderna Vaccine Contain Luciferin?)
However, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the Delta variant was one of the most common COVID-19 strains detected in the U.S. in June. The variant, also known as B.1.617.2, has since become the most dominant strain in the U.S., making up over 50 percent of cases, NPR and CNBC reported last week.
The WHO also currently labels the Delta variant as a “variant of concern.” That means the variant has, in addition to meeting the “variant of interest” definition, been associated with an “increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology,” an “increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation” or a “decrease in effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics,” according to the WHO.
The Delta variant’s impact has led to some countries reimposing coronavirus restrictions due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, according to CNBC. For example, French President Emmanuel Macron recently said only those who have been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19 will be permitted in restaurants, bars, malls, trains, theaters and certain other venues, the Wall Street Journal reported.