Former Trump adviser Birx warns of summer Covid ‘surge’

Topline

The United States should prepare for a surge of Covid-19 this summer that could hit southern states hardest, said former Trump administration pandemic response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx Told Confront the Nation Sunday, as coronavirus infections gradually increase across the country.

Highlights

Birx said coronavirus outbreaks in other countries, including South Africa, tend to occur every four to six months, suggesting that people’s natural immunity against previous Covid infections -19 could decline during this period.

Birx noted that about a year ago the United States experienced a “mini” surge of Covid-19 in April 2021, followed by a lull “where everyone thought it was over” and then a lull. another surge in August and September – a pattern that could repeat itself this year.

Covid-19 infections are on the rise in the United States, with the seven-day average of new cases rising 122% over the past month or so to 56,166 a day last week, Centers for Disease Control figures show. and Prevention, although case counts are still well below their January peak, when the country reported an average of 805,814 cases per day.

crucial quote

“We should prepare now for a potential increase in summer in the southern United States because we saw it in 2020 and we saw it in 2021,” Birx said. Face the Nation.

Contra

A jump in Covid-19 infections may not be accompanied by an increase in deaths, due to the high transmissibility but relatively low severity of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Although Covid-19 infections have more than doubled in the past month or so, average Covid-19 deaths have fallen by 53% over the same period, CDC data shows.

Key Context

As Covid-19 vaccinations and treatments become available to young people and Americans grow more comfortable gathering in person, public health experts have warned the public not to wallow in the face of the threat of the virus. The seven-day average number of Covid-19 hospital admissions rose 14% from the previous week, according to the CDC. Additionally, the omicron variant, while generally less severe than other variants, has been linked to a fourfold increase in childhood hospitalizations for Covid-19, with unvaccinated children being much more likely than vaccinated children to be seriously affected. The administration plans to make Paxlovid, Pfizer’s Covid-19 antiviral pill, available in pharmacies across the United States in an effort to reduce hospitalizations and other negative outcomes.

Tangent

In a book published last month, Birx described alleged mistakes in the Trump administration’s Covid-19 response that Birx said made the pandemic worse and put the public at risk. However, the New York Times reported in 2020 that Birx encouraged administration officials to believe that the pandemic would quickly abate in the spring, contributing to an inadequate early response to the pandemic. After being relieved of her position as Covid-19 adviser by the new Biden administration, Birx claimed she “always” considered quitting because she felt ineffective in her role in the Trump administration.

Large number

991,030. That’s the number of Covid-19 deaths that were cumulatively reported in the United States on Sunday, according to the CDC.

Further reading

“Trump Covid adviser Dr. Deborah Birx says book ‘will expose’ pandemic’s early missteps” (Forbes)

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