Will the new Covid-19 mutation created a “Worst Case Scenario” for America? Former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden is saying just that.
He is specifically concerned about the new variant of the Coronavirus known as the British virus. This new mutation is reportedly up to 56% more infectious than the general Covid-19 strain. Cases of this new strain have been reported around the world, including in Israel, and in as many as eight American states including New York, Florida, California and Texas.
Dr. Frieden tweeted, “Perfect storm: 1. Uncontrolled spread in most of US, 2. Slow vaccine rollout, 3. Worrisome mutations increase transmissibility and could undermine diagnostic testing, antibody treatment and vaccine efficacy.”
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Many say that the lessons have been learned from the mistakes made at the start of the Covid outbreak in early 2020. People feel that the American public is better prepared for slowing its spread and that the new vaccinations will protect the most vulnerable parts of the population.
One year ago today. Never again should we be so underprepared. https://t.co/nvT4j9vwBv
— Dr. Tom Frieden (@DrTomFrieden) January 10, 2021
But Dr. Frieden explains that even in the best case scenario the vaccines will not be distributed quickly enough to prevent the “explosive spread of alarming” new Covid strains. So the doctor says that it is time to sound the alarm on the emergence of new Covid strains and that American officials must ramp up protection protocols (masks, stop indoor contacts, vaccination) and genomic sequencing now. “We need to know how and where strains are spreading,” Dr. Frieden emphasizes.
Dr. Frieden says that, “the weeks ahead are critical. All of us must do everything we can to prevent new infections.” And he also put the blame for America’s problems dealing with the Covid crisis squarely on the shoulders of its current president. He expressed concern over what will happen in the time before Joe Biden enters office tweeting, “We have another 11+ days of absent leadership and active undermining of public health measures to save lives. These days are so very dangerous, for so many reasons, including the potential for exponential growth of the B.1.1.7 strain.”
But there is some good news. Dr. Tom Frieden says that new treatments (monoclonal antibodies, plasma from some recovered patients, maybe Remdesivir) help in early disease and (dexamethasone and some newer albeit expensive anti-inflammatory drugs) in the severe cases as well.