Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in America has recently delivered a Covid-19 update in which he claimed that the outbreak could be controlled across the nation within 4-6 weeks if people were more strict about wearing their masks. According to Redfield over half of the states in America are currently spiking at a faster rate than they had been in the spring.
Johns Hopkins University has been collecting national data on Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. As of this week, they reported that the US has surpassed 3.4 million positive cases of the coronavirus with over 136,000 deaths. Globally there have been about 13.3 million cases and almost 580,000 deaths; meaning the US accounts for around 24% of all covid-related deaths.
Redfield consistently was emphasizing that disciplined use of facial coverings, social distancing, and hand washing can dramatically decrease the rate in which this virus spreads, however, this isn’t new information. The biggest issue now is enforcing these policies that so many Americans are actively ignoring because their state governments are telling them it’s okay to be out in public again through the reopenings.
“If all of us would put on a face covering now for the next four weeks to six weeks, we could drive this epidemic to the ground in this country.”
Redfield went on to discuss other aspects of the pandemic as well, specifically how the Trump administration is now implementing a new directive that requires all hospitals to bypass the CDC when it comes to sending Covid-19 related data to the government. Instead, the data is to be sent directly to the Department of Health and Human Services.
For reference, the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network has been the number one source of information in terms of all things coronavirus related. This includes data on things like hospital bed numbers, ventilator use/availability, and personal protective equipment (PPEs). Now, the administration claims the new system will streamline the collection of these important stats and the CDC will still be able to have access to the information, they just won’t get it first.
Finally, the CDC announced that pharmaceutical company Moderna Inc. is currently in the early stages of a trial for a Covid-19 vaccine that’s showing successful results. The vaccine has proven to trigger an immune response within the body, however, it’s still too early to tell if that immune response is strong enough to actually protect someone from contracting the Covid-19 virus.
Moderna’s chief medical officer Dr. Tal Zaks recently spoke with the media about the vaccine that’s technical name is mRNA-1273. Zaks claims that while we don’t have all the data yet, so far all indications prove the vaccine to be safe and effective.
“The levels of protective antibodies produced by the trial participants were similar to those found in patients who had recovered from COVID-19, suggesting that the candidate vaccine provides the same protection as an infection.”
In the meantime, it’s recommended that we all continue to listen to the CDC and all of our country’s healthcare providers when they tell us the most effective ways to curve the spread of this virus. If we want a chance at returning to a life of normalcy, it’s imperative that we wear our masks in public, continue to social distance, and wash our hands as often as possible.