In The News This Week: Dr. Fauci Says Omicron Variant Will Likely Escalate

FeaturedIn The News This Week: Dr. Fauci Says Omicron Variant Will Likely Escalate

Appearing earlier this week on ABC’s This Week with Johnathan Karl, America’s infectious disease expert said that with the latest omicron Variant, COVID-19 will continue to escalate.

“Every week it goes up and up,” he said. “The last weekly average was about 150,000 and will likely go much higher.”

The variant dubbed Omicron is said to be less severe in terms of keeping people out of the hospital. Nevertheless, the Head of the NIAID said people should not become complacent.

“And we’re particularly worried about those who are in that unvaccinated class, that, you know, tens and tens of Americans are eligible for vaccination, who have not been vaccinated. Those are the most vulnerable ones when you have a virus that is extraordinarily effective in getting to people and infecting them the way omicron is.

“So, even though we’re pleased by the evidence from multiple countries, that it looks like there is a lesser degree of severity, we’ve got to be careful that we don’t get complacent about that.”

Last week, president Biden announced the distribution of 500 million COVID-19 in-home test kits scheduled to begin in January of 2022.

“The beginning of the year, there were essentially no rapid point of care home tests available,” Fauci said. “Now there are over nine of them and more coming. The production of them has been rapidly upscaled, and yet because of the demand that we have, which in some respects, Jon, is good, that we have a high demand because we should be using testing much more extensively than we have.

“But the situation where you have such a high demand, a conflation of events, omicron stirring people to get appropriately concerned and wanting to get tested as well as the fact of the run on tests during the holiday season – we’ve obviously got to do better. I think things will improve greatly as we get into January. But that doesn’t help us today and tomorrow.”

Trump’s recent comments on the vaccines.

Karl: “You know, it’s interesting. On this question of the vaccination, I’m sure you saw president Trump came out and said that he had received the booster shot. He actually got booed a little by the crowd of his supporters as he said that.

“And now, you know, there’s another interview he did with a conservative outlet, with Candice Owens, where he pushed back on the idea that the vaccine is not protecting people. He said that the people going to hospitals are the ones that largely have not been vaccinated. You don’t die if you get the vaccine.”

Fauci: “Well, I certainly hope so, Jon. We’ll take anything we can get about getting people vaccinated. I was a bit dismayed when former president Trump made that statement and his followers booed him, which, I was stunned by that – I mean, given the fact of how popular he is with that group…”

Merck and Pfizer’s anti-viral tablets.

“Is this the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for?” Karl asked him.

Fauci: “There are two things that are really encouraging about this approval of these, particularly the Pfizer product which is about 90% effective in preventing you from getting to the hospital or dying, compared to placebo.

“That’s part of the comprehensive approach to the outbreak,” Fauci said. “Vaccines and boosters , masks and now very importantly , a highly effective therapy is really going to make a major difference. We’ve just got to make sure that there’s the production of that product that we can get it widely used for those who need it as quickly as possible.”

Sources: ABC News/This Week Transcript.

Biden Administration To Provide Home Test Kits For COVID

FeaturedBiden Administration To Provide Home Test Kits For COVID

As the virus that causes COVID continues to sweep across America in mutated versions, conservative media has continued it’s war against vaccines, fear mongering about the vaccines with conspiracy theories and misinformation in a desperate attempt to damage the Biden agenda.

As Fox, OANN and Newsmax continue to kill off it’s viewing audience – literally – president Biden and his administration are planning on distributing at home test kits, and hoping to get more and more people vaccinated with their firsts shots of the vaccines. Today, about 200 million have been vaccinated.

Among remarks at the White House on Tuesday, Biden said:

The unvaccinated –

…”First, how concerned should you be about Omicron, which is the dominant variant in this country and how did it happen so quickly? The answer is straightforward. If you are not fully vaccinated, you have good reason to be concerned. You’re at risk of getting sick. And if you get sick, you’re likely to spread it to others, including friends and family. And the unvaccinated have a significantly higher risk of ending up in the hospital, or even dying…

The vaccinated –

…”Vaccinated people who get COVID may get ill, but they’re protected from severe illness and death. That’s why you should still remain vigilant. According to our doctors, even if you’re fully vaccinated, you should wear a mask when indoors in public settings…

… “wearing a mask provides extra protection for you and those around you. And I know some Americans are wondering if you can celebrate the holidays with your family and friends. The answer is yes, if you and those you celebrate are vaccinated, particularly if you’ve gotten your booster shot. If you are vaccinated and follow the precautions that we all know well, you should feel comfortable celebrating Christmas and the holidays as you planned it. And you know you’ve done the right thing. You could enjoy the holiday season…

Keeping schools open –

…”Number three. We know a lot more today than we did back in March of 2020. For example, Last year, we thought the only way to keep your children safe was to close your – close our schools. Today, we know more and we have more resources to keep those schools open. We can – you can get 5 to 11 year olds vaccinated – a tool we didn’t have until last month…

“Today, we don’t have to shut down schools because of COVID-19. Now, if a student tests positive, other students can take the test, and stay in the classroom if they’re not infected, rather than closing the school or having to quarantine. We can keep our K through 12 schools open and that’s exactly what we should be doing…

…”Look, the science is clear and overwhelming. We know how to keep our kids safe from COVID-19 in school. K through 12 schools should be open. And that safety is increased if schools require all adults who work in schools to get vaccinated and take the safety measures that the CDC has recommended, including masking…

Testing

…”One of the other things that has to be done, is more testing. Because Omicron spreads easily, especially among the unvaccinated, it’s critically important that we know who’s infected. That means we need more testing…

…”We also need to do better with at-home testing. So, I’m announcing today, that the federal government will purchase one half billion, additional at-home rapid test kits, with deliveries starting in January.  We’ll be getting these tests to Americans for free. And we’ll have websites where you can get them delivered to your home…

Vaccine resistance –

…”Thanks to the prior administration, and our scientific community, America is one of the first countries to get the vaccine. And thanks to my administration, and the hard work of Americans, we led a rollout that made America among the world leaders in getting shots in arms. But, uptake slowed this summer as vaccine resistance among some hardened. Look, the unvaccinated are responsible for their own choices. But those choices have been fueled by dangerous misinformation on cable TV and social media. You know, these companies and personalities that are making money by peddling lies and allowing misinformation that can kill their own supporters. It’s wrong. It’s immoral, and I call on the purveyors of these lies and misinformation, to stop it. Stop it now…”

But the lies and misinformation will never stop. There is no incentive for them to tell the truth, to be objective. There is, however, incentive in lies, misinformation, and conspiracy. That incentive is profit, and ratings. The Tucker Carlson’s, the Gateway Pundits, and the World Net Daily’s will continue to peddle their vaccine conspiracies, and the rubes who watch them and read them, will continue to spread the virus and die like the plague rats they are.

Sources: New York Times, Whitehouse.gov.

In The News: CDC Director Says Delta Variant May Soon Become Dominant Strain In The States

In The News: CDC Director Says Delta Variant May Soon Become Dominant Strain In The States

According to CDC director Rochelle Walenksy, a highly-contagious variant of the coronavirus known as the delta Variant, could very well become a dominant strain in the United States.

The variant, according to the World Health Organization, was identified last October in India, and is reported to be present in approximately eighty countries world-wide. It’s alleged to have now been discovered in forty-one states in the U.S..

The variant has been classified as a “variant of concern,” by WHO. This week the CDC upgraded its classification from “variant of interest,” to “variant of concern.”

“When these viruses mutate,” Walensky told ABC News, “they do so with some advantage to the virus. In this case, it’s more transmissible. It’s more transmissible than the alpha variant, or the U.K. variant, that we have here. We saw that quickly become the dominant strain in a period of one or two months, and I anticipate that is going to be what happens with the delta strain here.”

CDC health officials say they are concerned that the delta strain may mutate to a point where it can evade the existing COVID vaccines.

“That’s what we’re actively trying to prevent,” Walensky said. “Which is why we’re really encouraging people to get vaccinated. I will say, as worrisome as this delta strain is with regard to its hyper-transmissibility, our vaccines work. Right now, they are working, and they require actually two doses or to be fully-vaccinated to work. So I would encourage all Americans to get your first shot, and when you get your second shot, you’ll be protected against this delta variant.”

According to Dr. Ashish Jha, the Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, the delta variant is “far more contagious than any variant we have seen throughout this entire pandemic.”

As more Americans continue to get vaccinated, and cases decline, close to 600,OOO have perished from COVID-19.

Source: ABC News.

In The News: World Health Organization Designates Indian Coronavirus Variant A Potential World Threat

In The News: World Health Organization Designates Indian Coronavirus Variant A Potential World Threat

According to the WHO, a variant of the coronavirus first identified in India, is a potential world-wide threat. The variant known as B.1.617, is believed to be behind the recent outbreak in India. Other variants were previously discovered in South Africa, Brazil, and Britain.

This latest variant was discovered back in October. According to health officials, the variant can combine mutations in the protein that can aid it in avoiding the body’s immune system.

Maria Van Kerkove, who is technical lead of WHO’s coronavirus response, said Monday at a press conference, “There is some available information to suggest some increased transmissibility of B.1.617, and as such we are classifying this as a variant of concern at the global level. Even though there is increased transmissibility demonstrated by some preliminary studies, we need much more information about this virus variant in this lineage, in all of the sub lineages, so we need more sequencing, targeted sequencing to be done.”

It’s been suggested that the variant may be behind the latest surge in India, but Gagandeep Kang – who is executive director of Translational Health Service and Technology Institute in India – isn’t so sure. “There is some conflicting data regarding the B.1.1.7 variant, which seems to indicate as some studies that it does cause more severe disease, in other studies not,” he said.

It has yet to be determined whether or not B.1.617 is a cause of more severe C0VID infection. Until more research is done, it’s impossible to know for certain.

Sources: The Week, NY Times, CNBC.