President Joe Biden’s claim on Sunday that the epidemic was over was still being felt on Tuesday, with specialists issuing warnings that the upcoming winter could bring new varieties and additional infections.
Two editorials were written in The Washington Post: Leana S. Wen, a contributing columnist, argued in one that Biden is accurate that the genuine crisis has passed its emergency phase. The editorial board stated in the second editorial that the pandemic “is obviously not over” because there are more than 400 deaths on average per day in the United States.
“The average number of new cases per day is 60,000, significantly more than in the spring. Due to the virus, Americans’ average life expectancy decreased in 2020 and 2021, marking the greatest two-year dip in almost 100 years.
After cancer and heart disease, COVID-19 is the third most common cause of death in the US. Millions of people are at risk from long-term COVID, those who continue to experience symptoms after the initial ones have subsided.
The board observed that although Biden has not declared the pandemic emergency over, if he does, Medicaid coverage for about 15 million Americans will terminate. The board wrote: “All this policy change must not be done carelessly or quickly. The justification for the suspension of student loan payments will be eliminated, as will the argument for border restrictions during the Trump administration.”
But perhaps more concerning is the backlash Biden’s remark is expected to receive from Congress at a time when his government is seeking funds for vaccinations, research, and medicines in the subsequent round of the virus-fighting effort.
“The phrase “the pandemic is over” sounds pleasant and incredibly welcome. But we’re not there yet,” the board declared. Wen, on the other hand, stated that although the virus is still harmful, it is no longer creating massive outbreaks of infections and taxing healthcare systems as it transforms into an endemic disease. Once widely accessible, vaccines proved to be a game-changer, she noted, and medications like Paxlovid, Evusheld, and monoclonal antibodies are now provide additional defence against serious illness.
“The pandemic is effectively over for the majority of the nation because it no longer affects people’s daily life. For them, COVID has changed from being a deadly illness to something more like the flu. People still want to avoid it, and they’ll do basic things like receive a yearly shot to do it, Wen wrote.
She proceeded, acknowledging that specialists are split on whether or not the pandemic has reached its scientific end. But as the World Health Organization reported last week, worldwide death rates are at their lowest point since March 2020.
However, she said, just because a disease is endemic does not imply that the severity of the sickness is appropriate.
Think about HIV and cancer. The objective is to prevent disease and give afflicted individuals the best possible medical care, even though these are not pandemics, she said. In fact, there are several illnesses that require much more care, ranging from the epidemics of obesity and opiate addiction to the resurgence of polio and the deteriorating mental health crises.
Above all, the United States must draw conclusions from COVID-19 and, in particular, recognise the need to improve the country’s woefully underdeveloped public health infrastructure.
People from all political backgrounds ought to concur that we cannot afford to have our lives once again upended, according to Wen. We must step up our efforts to stop the next pandemic when the United States finishes its emergency status in this one.