Disease Experts Look to the End Of Pandemic But Aren’t Sure When

April 16, 2021 by Tom Ramstack
Disease Experts Look to the End Of Pandemic But Aren’t Sure When
A child in a medical mask during a coronavirus pandemic

WASHINGTON — As the U.S. death toll reached 564,000 from COVID-19, the nation’s top disease experts said Thursday normal life will return for Americans only when enough of them get vaccinated.

But with more than 70,000 new infections daily, they could not predict for Congress when the pandemic will end.

“The only way we’re going to get out of this, particularly with the increase in variants, is to get people vaccinated,” said David Kessler, chief science officer for the White House COVID-19 Response Team.

He told the House Oversight and Reform select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis that hopes are rising for the pandemic to subside as the supply of vaccine increases, enabling more than three million Americans a day to be vaccinated.


Nevertheless, infections continue more than a year after the onset of the disease in the United States.

“Let’s get this done, then we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Kessler said as he suggested a fast pace of vaccination.

So far, at least 37% of the U.S. population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine injection and more than 23% are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky cautioned against believing the steady progress has reached a level that makes the public safe, also known as “herd immunity.”

She said that COVID-19 variants that emerged recently from South Africa, the United Kingdom and Brazil present ongoing threats.

“We must remain vigilant in our prevention efforts,” Walensky said.

She declined to project a date for the United States to reach herd immunity.

“I think it’s changing given the variants,” she told lawmakers.

Walensky testified to Congress while one of the COVID-19 vaccines produced by pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson was “paused” by the Food and Drug Administration.


The FDA ordered distribution halted on Tuesday after seven women developed blood clotting problems when they received the vaccine. One of them died.

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the congressional subcommittee the FDA wanted a few more days to study the rare aftereffect. He described the move as an effort to show an abundance of caution.

Also on Thursday, a new Economist/YouGov poll showed Americans’ trust in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine fell after the FDA paused distribution.

The report said 52% of U.S. adults believed the Johnson & Johnson shot was “very safe” or “somewhat safe” before the pause. Afterward, only 37% said they believed the injections are safe. Thirty-nine percent believed they are unsafe

The persons surveyed showed much stronger confidence in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

The blood clots formed in fewer than one in a million recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Fauci endured intense criticism from Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, for the public health restrictions he helped to craft. They include shutdowns of schools, businesses and some government agencies.

“I just want to know, when do Americans get their First Amendment liberties back,” Jordan asked Fauci.

Fauci responded, “I don’t see this as a liberty issue. I see it as a public health issue.”

Jordan told him the shutdown was “a national disgrace” that is falling heavily on schoolchildren who are being deprived of adequate education, some of them becoming suicidal.

“Long term damage is being done to those kids,” Jordan said.

Rep. Mark E. Green, R-Tenn., accused the Biden administration of adding to the pandemic by failing to block illegal immigrants who might be infected from entering the United States.


“Americans are at risk of another massive health crisis” because of illegal immigration, Green said.

“This is what we get with an open border,” he said.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Health

August 15, 2022
by TWN Staff
REPORT: Health Equity Depends on What Happens at the Ballot Box

The Tennessee Justice Center has authored a policy brief that explains the cyclic relationship between voting and health, as well... Read More

The Tennessee Justice Center has authored a policy brief that explains the cyclic relationship between voting and health, as well as the impact of politics on health care.   According to the brief, voting creates a sense of belonging to the community, which leads to happier... Read More

British Regulator First to OK Moderna's Updated COVID Booster

LONDON (AP) — British drug regulators have become the first in the world to authorize an updated version of Moderna's... Read More

LONDON (AP) — British drug regulators have become the first in the world to authorize an updated version of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine that includes protection against the omicron variant, which the government said would be offered to people aged 50 and over starting in the fall.... Read More

August 12, 2022
by Dan McCue
What the Latest COVID Guidance Means for Back to School

WASHINGTON — A hit in the early 1970s featured children in its final refrain singing, “no more pencils, no more... Read More

WASHINGTON — A hit in the early 1970s featured children in its final refrain singing, “no more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks.” If the song were updated this year, Alice Cooper might be tempted to have them throw in “no more remote... Read More

Polio Detected in NYC's Sewage, Suggesting Virus Circulating

NEW YORK (AP) — The polio virus has been found in New York City’s wastewater in another sign that the... Read More

NEW YORK (AP) — The polio virus has been found in New York City’s wastewater in another sign that the disease, which hadn’t been seen in the U.S. in a decade, is quietly spreading among unvaccinated people, health officials said Friday. The presence of the poliovirus... Read More

Dems Near Congressional Passage of Climate, Health Package

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats pushed their flagship climate change and health care bill toward House passage Friday, placing President Joe Biden on... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats pushed their flagship climate change and health care bill toward House passage Friday, placing President Joe Biden on the brink of a back-from-the-dead triumph on his leading domestic goals that could energize his party going into November’s elections. Democrats were poised to muscle the measure through the... Read More

August 11, 2022
by Dan McCue
CDC Streamlines COVID Guidelines, Dropping Quarantine, Other Recommendations

ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines Thursday, dropping its recommendation that Americans quarantine... Read More

ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines Thursday, dropping its recommendation that Americans quarantine themselves if they come into close contact with an infected person. Instead it is urging those who know they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 but not sick... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top