Experts Are Warning The US Could Face Another Surge Of Covid-19

With multiple governors easing up on health and safety procedures before a proper herd immunity is met, many healthcare experts are worried the US might face another severe outbreak of the virus.

Embed from Getty Images

Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm recently spoke to the press about how he, like most of the nation, believed the US was heading in the right direction with the distribution of multiple vaccines and an overall decline in new cases of the virus. However, the US is still averaging about 60,000 new cases a day, and with multiple Southern governors easing up on health and safety measures, spring break is threatening to ruin all of the progress America has made. 

Osterholm believes that the country is about to see another spike in Covid-19 that will likely be driven by the B117 UK variant of the virus that is known to be much more transmissible than the already extremely contagious Covid-19 virus. Osterholm believes we could see a major spike in infections within the next six to 14 weeks. 

“Four weeks ago, the B117 variant made up about 1 to 4% of the virus that we were seeing in communities across the country, today it’s up to 30 to 40%. What we’ve seen in Europe, when we hit that 50% mark, you see cases surge,” he explained. So far the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported more than 2,600 cases of the variant across 46 states as well as Puerto Rico and Washington DC; nearly a quarter of the cases are in Florida.

“Where the variant has hit in the UK and now elsewhere in Europe, it has been catastrophic. It has driven up rates of hospitalizations and deaths and it’s very difficult to control.”

Dr. Celine Gounder is an infectious disease specialist who also spoke with the press about these concerning new rises in cases. “New research shows that in the US, the variant is 59% to 74% more transmissible than the original novel coronavirus. Cases in the US are increasing exponentially, that’s why it’s crucial for the country to keep pushing to lower Covid-19 infections. Vaccination numbers are still not high enough — and won’t be high enough in several weeks’ time — to help suppress the predicted surge,” she warned. 

“This is sort of like we’ve been running this really long marathon, and we’re 100 yards from the finish line and we sit down and we give up. We’re almost there, we just need to give ourselves a bit more time to get a larger proportion of the population covered with vaccines.” Within the first week of March multiple governors announced that they would be loosening health and safety restrictions specifically meant to curb the spread of this virus that the US is continuously fighting. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced he was lifting the statewide mask mandate and would be allowing all businesses to reopen at 100% capacity. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves made a similar announcement as well. Reeves defended the decision by claiming that the government had to “look much more closely from a data standpoint at hospitalizations, number of Mississippians in the ICU, number of Mississippians on ventilators … all of those numbers have plummeted in our state over the last two months.” Healthcare experts on the other hand are saying that science shows the opposite. 

Embed from Getty Images

“If I were to drink and drive, it’s not just a personal choice that I’d be putting my life at risk, I’d be putting everyone’s at risk. When you wear a mask you’re not just protecting yourself, you’re protecting people around you.”

Embed from Getty Images

Health officials claim that only around 10% of Americans are currently fully vaccinated; not nearly enough to achieve a herd immunity. More than 58.8 million Americans have received their first dose of the vaccine according to the CDC, while more than 30.6 million have received both roughly 9.2% of the population. 

Officials are hopeful that vaccination distribution will be increasing exponentially this month especially with the approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well. Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to the White House Covid-19 response team, claims “there will be more than enough vaccines produced for every adult by the end of May. The President said last week the US will have enough vaccines for every adult American by the end of May — speeding up the administration’s previous goal by two months.”

“We’ll have enough vaccines, I think we said for 300 million Americans. There’s 250 million adults in the country right now, and right now, as we know, most teenagers are not eligible, and younger kids are not eligible, so it’s more than enough for every adult.”

Dr. Fauci claimed that there are currently multiple studies and tests occurring throughout the country to test the safety of these vaccines for high school students and children as well. Fauci believes most high school students will be able to receive a vaccine by the fall, and is hopeful that they will even receive their doses before the beginning of the fall semester.