Birx, Former Trump Adviser, Warns of Summer Covid Outbreak

top line

The US must prepare for a Covid-19 outbreak this summer that could hit southern states the hardest, former Trump administration pandemic response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said face the nation Sunday as coronavirus infections gradually increase across the country.

Main facts

Birx said that coronavirus outbreaks in other countries – including South Africa – tend to occur every four to six months, suggesting that people’s natural immunity to previous Covid-19 infections may wane during this time.

Birx noted that about a year ago, the United States had a “mini” Covid-19 outbreak in April 2021, followed by a pause “where everyone thought it was over” and then another spike in August and September — a pattern which may repeat itself this year.

Covid-19 infections are on the rise in the US, with the seven-day average of new cases rising 122% from last month to 56,166 a day in the last week, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. though the case counts are still well below their peak in January, when the country recorded an average of 805,814 cases per day.

crucial quote

“We should be getting ready now for a potential summer surge in the southern United States, because we saw it in 2020 and we saw it in 2021,” Birx said. face the nation.

Against

A jump in Covid-19 infections may not be accompanied by an increase in deaths, due to the high transmissibility but the relatively low severity of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. While Covid-19 infections have more than doubled in the past month, the average number of Covid-19 deaths has declined by 53% over the same period, according to CDC data.

key background

As Covid-19 vaccines and treatments become available to young people and Americans are increasingly comfortable meeting in person, public health experts are warning the public not to get complacent about the threat of the virus. The seven-day average number of hospitalizations for Covid-19 increased 14% from the previous week, according to the CDC. Furthermore, the omicron variant, while generally less severe than other variants, was associated with a fourfold increase in childhood hospitalizations for Covid-19, with unvaccinated children much more likely than the vaccinated to be severely affected. The administration is planning to make Pfizer’s Covid-19 antiviral pill Paxlovid available at pharmacies across the US in an attempt to reduce hospitalizations and other negative outcomes.

Tangent

In a book released last month, Birx described alleged errors in the Trump administration’s Covid-19 response that Birx said worsened the pandemic and put the public at risk. However, the New York Times reported in 2020 that Birx encouraged government officials to believe the pandemic would rapidly subside during the spring, contributing to an inadequate early response to the pandemic. After being relieved of her position as a Covid-19 adviser by the new Biden administration, Birx stated that she “always” thought about quitting because she felt ineffective in her role in the Trump administration.

big number

991,030. It’s the number of deaths from Covid-19 that were cumulatively reported in the US as of Sunday, according to the CDC.

additional reading

“Trump Covid advisor Dr. Deborah Birx says the book will ‘expose’ the first mistakes of the pandemic” (Forbes)

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