Thaddeus Swanek Thaddeus Swanek
Senior Writer and Editor, Strategic Communications, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


February 18, 2021


Fill me in: For this week’s Path Forward U.S. Chamber President and CEO-Elect Suzanne Clark joined two renowned public health experts in a conversation about the coronavirus mutations that are raising concerns about our ability to fight back against COVID-19.

Dr. Sharon Peacock of the COVID-19 Genomics U.K. Consortium and Dr. Jonathan Li of Harvard Medical School explained why the virus is mutating, what the new variants that have been discovered mean for infection rates, and how we can ensure tests, therapeutics, and vaccines remain effective.

The Path Forward is a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation event series designed to help business and community leaders find the answers they need to execute a responsible reopening strategy and plan for a post-pandemic world.

What happened?Doctors Peacock and Li emphasized that the same proven tools that work against COVID-19 will work against its new variants. That means masking, social distancing—and perhaps most vitally—vaccines, are more important than ever.

The doctors also underlined the vital importance of vaccinating as many people as possible as quickly as possible so that the coronavirus has less opportunities to evolve into more transmissible or deadly strains.

Dr. Peacock said that the currently-available vaccines would work against the variants of COVID-19. While Dr. Li added that it’s vital that “we don’t drop our guard too soon” on other measures combatting the spread of the virus like wearing masks and social distancing.

Key quotes:

“This isn’t the time to let up. It’s not the time to let up because hope is on the horizon…Wear a mask, maybe two. Wash your hands, maybe twice. Take care of yourselves.” – Suzanne Clark

Our take: Don’t forget—wearing a mask and social distancing make a big difference in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus.

It’s also vital that Americans get vaccinated or have a plan to get vaccinated once supplies become available for their group. The approved vaccines are safe, widely available, and help protect you, your family and others—so make getting one a priority. For more information on COVID-19 vaccination in your area, contact your local health department.

What’s next:Please join future Path Forward events to learn how to better protect you workers, customers, coworkers, and friends from the spread of coronavirus.

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About the authors

Thaddeus Swanek

Thaddeus Swanek

Thaddeus is a senior writer and editor with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's strategic communications team.

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