Covid-19 United States: Colorado man with no travel history infected with highly-infectious UK strain

The United States has confirmed its first case of the highly infectious Covid-19 variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom.

A man in his 20’s with no travel history in the state of Colorado is currently under isolation in Elbert County near Denver.

State health officials said they were working to identify contacts and other potential cases of the new variant.

The new variant is considerably more transmissible than previous strains but not necessarily any more dangerous for those infected, experts say.

US health officials said last week that they believed it was already in circulation in the country.

It came as US President-elect Joe Biden criticised the Trump administration’s distribution of vaccines.

He said the programme was falling behind schedule.

The US has recorded more than 19 million infections and more than 337,000 deaths from coronavirus, the highest figures in the world.

Two coronavirus vaccines – one by Moderna and one by Pfizer – are currently being distributed and administered across the US.

The government had aimed to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the end of December. But so far, only 2.1 million have received shots, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

President-elect Biden said the vaccine drive was the “greatest operational challenge we’ve ever faced as a nation”.

“The Trump administration’s plan to distribute vaccines is falling far behind,” Mr Biden said in a speech on Tuesday. “I’m going to move heaven and earth to get us going in the right direction.”

Responding to Mr Biden in a tweet, President Donald Trump said it was “up to the states to distribute the vaccines” once they had been delivered by the federal government.

“We have not only developed the vaccines, including putting up money to move the process along quickly, but gotten them to the states,” he wrote.

Mr Biden has pledged to vaccinate 100 million Americans during the first 100 days of his presidency when he takes office on 20 January.