COVID infections are on the rise in the United States, with 66,000 new cases each day and deaths increasing by 30 percent. More than 1 million Americans have died from COVID since the start of the epidemic, according to Dr. Ashish Jha, the white House COVID Response Coordinator. Listen to his Today Show warning about a “extremely transmissible” new variant that is driving up occurrences.
1 — Dr. Jha Warned That the New BA.2 Sub-Variant is “Very Contagious”
Hoda Kotb questioned if the airlines’ removal of face-covering bans is related to the recent increase in infections. “I believe that what’s driving the rise in infections across the country right now, at this very contagious new variant BA.2, is this prevalent new subvariant,” Jha added. “It’s rapidly spreading throughout the nation. It’s the most common variant in the Northeast, Midwest, and other areas of the country. I think that’s the key reason,” he continued. “I still believe masking on planes would’ve been beneficial, but I think the main reason is that highly contagious subsub-variant.”
2 — Will We See Mask Mandates Again?
Is there a correlation between rising occurrences of M. tuberculosis and the growing number of people using masks? “We anticipate that local authorities will make those decisions,” Jha stated. “The CDC has drawn up a map and strategy for when to consider mask requirements, based on three criteria: infections, hospitalizations, and hospital capacity. The majority of the country is still in the green, which implies that indoor mask rules should not be implemented, but we will see areas take this decision on a case-by-case basis.”
3 — Who is Safest?
“Were you able to figure out who was vaccinated and who wasn’t in that group?” Kotb inquired. “We do keep track of what we know, which is that the majority of Americans who have died from this disease were unvaccinated during the most recent epidemic,” Jha continued. “Most deaths occurred in those who had not been vaccinated or boosted. So, vaccines are still the best way to safeguard yourself from the virus; particularly if you’re boosted. But every one of them, whether they were vaccinated or unvaccinated, is a tragedy that must be avoided.”
4 — Dr. Jha Said How to Stay Safe at Events
After the White House Correspondents Dinner, which took place in a large room of 2,600 maskless individuals, there was a surge in infections; Dr. Fauci refused to go because it was too dangerous for his own situation. Was it a poor decision for President Biden to attend—and what should you do if an event attracts a lot of people? “I think if we step back and look at that event, Hoda, and events like that where everyone is vaccinated and boosted, everyone has a negative test,” he says. “I think the question is, ‘Can there be methods of making parties safer or not?’ And I believe that the White House Correspondents’ Dinner achieved everything we know makes events safer. The president made a decision based on all of the facts and with the knowledge that certain safeguards exist. And I believe this is the safest approach to gather together. And I really want people to utilize those tools if they’re going to have a gathering to make it a lot safer for everyone involved.”
5 — Dr. Jha Said This About the J&J Vaccine
The FDA has stated that the J&J vaccination can induce a small number of blood clots in those who take it. “What we know is extremely rare, and here’s the important point. All of these uncommon events occur during the first few weeks after vaccination. So, if you’re more than a few weeks out, you’re safe; we haven’t seen any cases arise beyond a few weeks. So get vaccinated to save your life as well as others.”