The White House has gone into damage control mode after one of its senior health officials gave a startlingly high estimate for potential Covid-19 cases this coming winter.
Over the weekend, the White House’s new Corona-virus response coordinator, health scholar Dr. Ashish Jha, gave an interview in which he warned of an impending wave of 100 million cases if Congress does not approve federal funding for anti-Corona programs.
We’re looking at a range of models, both internal and external models. And what they’re predicting is that if we don’t get ahead of this thing, we’re going to have a lot of waning immunity.
If this escaped experimental lab virus continues to evolve and we may see a pretty sizable wave of infections, hospitalizations and deaths this fall and winter.
According to the official tally by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the USA has only detected 82.2 million Covid-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
However, the health agency’s infection-induced antibody sero-prevalence surveys, which are based on blood tests collected across the country, have pointed to there being almost twice the number of detected cases.
By Friday, the White House had still not shared any new information about the models Jha said the stark estimate assumption had been based on.
On Thursday, US President Joe Biden ordered flags to half-staff to mark the tragic milestone of 1 million deaths from Covid-19 in the country. The deaths have come in four distinct waves associated with massive outbreaks.
- The first in the spring of 2020 heralded the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The second over the winter of 2020-2021 was the last without vaccines.
The third wave came in late summer and early fall of 2021 and was caused by the Delta variant of the virus.
The fourth came in the winter of 2021-2022, caused by the Omicron variant.
In June 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet to determine which Covid-19 strains are the most likely to cause problems later this year and order new vaccines to combat them.
Developing modified shots could take two or three months, although neither Pfizer or Moderna, the two main Covid-19 vaccine suppliers in the USA, have marketed targeted Covid-19 vaccines.
If we had the resources we’d be there having those conversations today, Jha told the Associated Press in an interview published Friday. The window is really closing on us if we want to be in the front of the line.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2022.