Chief White House officials warn that the coming fall and winter seasons could spark a devastating Covid wave that the country cannot handle. Meanwhile, the number of Americans who still report concerns about the virus is reaching an all-time low and the virus is less deadly than ever, according to official figures.
dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s Covid-19 response coordinator, urged Congress to provide the government with more Covid aid funding during a White House press conference on Thursday. The funds were pulled from an account earlier this year and now some are warning that the country will not have access to the vaccines or therapies like Paxlovid unless more funding is approved.
However, many in Congress are pushing for the money to be used elsewhere, and some in the American public will likely agree. A Gallup poll published last month found that just 31 percent of Americans say they are “somewhat concerned” or “very concerned” about contracting COVID-19.
This is largely due to the country’s high vaccination rate, with nearly 90 percent of American adults having received at least one shot and more than 75 percent being fully vaccinated. Jha has also previously highlighted the effectiveness of therapies like Paxlovid in keeping Americans safe and preventing deaths from the virus.
He notes that cases in America have once again eclipsed the 100,000-a-day mark, at 101,252, but deaths from the virus remain in the triple digits, at 560 a day.
†[Late fall and winter are] where I’m starting to get really worried. I mean, you want to ask what keeps me up at night? It’s that we’re running out of vaccines,” Jha said at the briefing, outlining scenarios in case the funding doesn’t get approved by Congress.
dr. Ashish Jha, White House Covid Response Coordinator, said the notion that the country will run out of vaccines and drugs this winter, [him] awake at night’
‘We will not be able to have enough of the next generation of vaccines. We will run out of treatments and we will probably run out of diagnostic tests in late fall into winter if we get a significant increase in infections.
“We don’t have the resources to buy those things. And those purchases must be made now’
Jha is urging lawmakers to approve more funding for the federal government for Covid mitigation measures, a topic that has become controversial in recent weeks as some want to spend the money elsewhere.
Biden had insisted the funds become part of a spending package that included aid to Ukraine, but was forced to pull it out for fear that disagreements over that section would shut down the entire bill.
Federal officials say the funding will be enough to trap America while also allowing the country to continue to order Covid vaccines. There has been speculation that if the funding is not approved, the US will no longer be able to offer the vaccines to all Americans, only for high risk groups†
However, whether Americans want even more Covid shots is still up for debate. The rollout of the COVID-19 boosters was slow when they first became available in the fall of 2021, with older Americas not massive to take the pictures in a way that the federal government expected.
Little change was also seen in vaccines administered daily when the fourth dose of the injection was approved earlier this year for Americans 50 and older.
A Gallup poll published last month found that just 31 percent of Americans say they are “somewhat concerned” or “very concerned” about contracting COVID-19, a three percent drop from the poll’s version. was held in February. Within that group, 17 percent of Americans said they were still “very concerned” about Covid, a five percent drop.
The poll signals the changing state of the virus as America approaches the summer months. In previous years, the warm weather months were accompanied by large, devastating virus waves.
The study was conducted in mid-April, when the trend of declining cases that had existed for nearly three months after the mid-January peak of the winter Omicron peak began to reverse.
The participants were asked about their feelings about the pandemic, the virus, and what kind of personal restrictive strategies they used — or ignored — in their daily lives.
The study also found that 64 percent of Americans believed the pandemic was getting “better.” At the time of the survey, cases had fallen just below 30,000 per day, making it one of the lowest since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
About 21 percent of Americans said they believed the situation was about the same, and only 12 percent believed it was getting worse.
The last time this small number of Americans believed the situation was deteriorating was in the summer of 2021, when cases bottomed out just before the explosion of the Delta variant.
These good feelings have also led to some behavioral changes. Only 17 percent of Americans reported still taking social distancing, the lowest point of the pandemic to date.
Just under a third of Americans said they avoided large crowds, a fifth reported avoiding public places and just 15 percent avoided small gatherings.
Those numbers are also all pandemic lows, Gallup reports.