A leading health professor said COVID-19 case numbers should not be considered a major metric for policymakers amid the spread of the Omicron variant as recent data suggests that it causes less severe symptoms and fewer hospitalizations.
” For two years, infections always preceded hospitalsizations that preceded deaths. So you could look at infected people and predict what they would do,” Ashish K. Jha (dean of Brown University) said on Sunday to ABC’s “This Week”. “Omicron makes that possible. This is the shift we have been waiting for .”
With the United State’s COVID-19 vaccination rate, it’s “very different than what we have seen in the past,” he said. “I don’t think that infections should be the main metric .”
,” he said.
Instead, U.S. officials should “really focus on hospitalizations or deaths now,” Jha observed.
In his interview, Jha–like many other public health professors and officials–didn’t make any mention of studies regarding natural immunity afforded by previous COVID-19 infection.
Despite its rapid spread, very few deaths have been reported worldwide since the Omicron variant was named by the World Health Organization. According to Houston authorities, the first Omicron-related death could have been last week.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Robert Koch Institute confirmed that the country had experienced its first Omicron-related death a few days ago. This was weeks after Omicron cases first became apparent. According to officials, the deceased was between 60 & 79, ages.
Despite Jha’s optimistic outlook, White House COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci asserted during a separate ABC News interview on Sunday that “we don’t want to get complacent” because “when you have such a high volume of new infections, it might override a real diminution in severity.”
” If you have many people with less severe symptoms, it might sort of negate the positive effects of having less severity.” He said without providing any data or studies. We are particularly concerned about those in the unvaccinated group… these are the most vulnerable when you have a virus that’s extraordinarily effective in getting people .
Last week, President Joe Biden announced he would deploy some 500 million at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits starting next month. Additionally, the administration will establish more federal testing locations throughout the United States, with New York City as its first stop.
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, just 12% of Americans who have not been vaccinated said that the Omicron variant would motivate them to get the vaccine.
Jack Phillips, a reporter for breaking news at The Epoch Times, is based in New York.
https://www.theepochtimes.com/professor-covid-19-cases-should-no-longer-be-major-metric-of-pandemic_4177898.html, The Epoch Times