President Biden made some remarks about the pandemic being over although we still have much to do regarding this SARS-Cov2 virus. I will let you decide how he meant what he said.
One public health professional wrote this and his sentiments are echoed by many others.
Dear Mr. Klain and colleagues--
I’ve been a Democrat all my life. I’ve traveled to other states to work on get out the vote for the party and I come from a Republican family.
And yes, I even volunteered for the President’s transition team for a few weeks at the end of 2020 as some of you will know.Nothing, nothing has made me more disgusted by our party than what the President said on 60 Minutes last night about the COVID-19 pandemic being over. You all in your bubble think it’s just politics, particularly the old-timers, and for some who are new to government service you see no way of objecting or for the deeply ambitious among you will say anything to get ahead
But what the President said, what you have all consented to, is deeply craven, cynical, and dishonors our 1M+ dead and those who have fought to keep people alive and safe. 500 people are dying per day in the US. COVID, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation was the 2nd leading cause of death in the week of September 9.We lead in overall COVID mortality and excess deaths among the G7. Life expectancy in the US is down and has not rebounded. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are likely to suffer from long COVID. And we’re grossly under-vaccinated and under-boosted as a country.
These are the facts.
You choose to ignore them out of political expediency, seeing no “win” for the mid-terms or 2024 in any real response from the White House on this disease. You’re counting votes. Many of us are just counting bodies. Please don’t comfort yourselves by saying you are doing all you can do, the country is “tired” and you cannot do more. At least call it what it is: capitulation. It’s akin to President Bush’s Mission Accomplished moment from 2003 and will be remembered as such, but perhaps with more scorn in history as the carnage is here at home, not in Iraq.
Saying the pandemic is over gets no one vaccinated, no one boosted.
Saying the pandemic is over, gets no one access to care and treatment if they have no insurance.
Saying the pandemic is over, does not refurbish the ventilation in a single school building.
Saying the pandemic is over, puts no food on the table of someone who is out of work from long COVID or from simply a bout of the disease that sidelines them for a week from a job that pays only if you show up.
Saying the pandemic is over gets you nothing but brings suffering and death to too many.
I cheered on Election night. I cheered when you made your initial appoints in public health, medicine and science. I cheered when I read your initial plan to combat the pandemic.
Now? How has it all gone so badly? More dead under your watch than under President Trump’s.Clearly those of us in public health who still see unfinished business in a pandemic that is taking a devastating toll on this country will have to do this alone.
But we will also bear witness to a story of people who once devoted themselves to public service, to the health and happiness of all Americans, but who put their own political interests and career prospects first—there is no other way to explain.I’ve heard the excuses from some of you directly, the I’m-doing-all-I-can-do-you-just-can’t-see-it self-justifications. But I’m over it. This is what happens when some Americans become disposable people. I saw it with HIV/AIDS, I see it now.
You may say, there is no use in speaking up, doing more if we don’t win elections and you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.But many of us see you for what you are people who lost their way on the way up.
History will not be kind to you.
Unfortunately, although I agree with everything Mr. Gonslaves wrote above, there is a political and societal reality within which we all live here in the US. That reality is reflected in the vaccination numbers cited in the articles above. Our under 5 vax rates are atrocious and our rates throughout the age spectrum is not much better. Our booster rates are far behind what is recommended and even vaxxed and boosted folks here at SAV are questioning whether to seek the new bivalent immediately as become eligible or wait and time their ‘boost’ for fall and holidays—I am not going to say that is good or bad, it just is what it is. This is sadly the societal reality we live in at present.
The political reality is that there has been a concerted effort by a very large faction of the GQP who have been very effective in politicizing this public health issue. So effective that it is not just MAGAt and GQP diehards questioning covid mitigation measures but folks of all stripes. Couple that reality with the very real efforts of that same GQP to destroy democracy in favor of a fascist authoritarianism and a citizenry too wrapped up in their own lives or too stupid to understand they are being played and the tragic reality is that our present government could try to mandate vaccines, mandate more mitigation measures, mandate more stringent workplace rules and possible save a few lives—but then lose the House and Senate because, as our vax rates demonstrate, not enough US citizens care or understand that this virus isn’t done with us.
Do we really think a GQP congress is going to do any better? Is the loss of our democracy worth it even though we have now seen that these mandates will NOT be acceptable to enough among us who will fail to understand the benefits of the same? The same people who have not been vaxxed yet but also those skipping out in boosters or getting their kids vaxxed will probably not be enamored of mandates—that is just a reality. https://erictopol.substack.com/p/to-boost-or-not-to-boost
Personally I am furious with the GQP and its taking our country hostage over the past fifty years—all culminating in the inability of majority rule to effect the good policies we need to protect our most vulnerable citizens. We are now faced with a choice of saving more folks with good public health policies or losing our democracy and also losing any public health policy protections as well. That is not an acceptable choice but it is the unpleasant reality we face today.