Gottlieb, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said on “Squawk Box” that the evidence does suggest the new U.K. variant transmits more easily. But, he cautioned, “It doesn’t seem to have mutated the surface proteins of the virus in a way that they would slip past our vaccines or prior immunity. In fact, we don’t think that that’s the case.”…

The fact the coronavirus has mutated is not surprising, Gottlieb said. It is common for viruses to do so.

“Some viruses like flu evolve their surface proteins very quickly, and that’s why we need a different flu vaccine every season,” said Gottlieb, who led the FDA in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019. “Some viruses can’t really change their surface proteins, like measles. This [coronavirus] seems to fall some place in between. It’s not going to change it’s surface proteins very rapidly, that spike protein, but it will change it over time.”