White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha on Sunday warned that the country is still “in the middle of this pandemic,” and that the latest variant is “immune evasive.”
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Jha said the virus is “evolving rapidly.”
“We're still in the middle of this pandemic, obviously we're in a way better place than they were in a year and a half ago. Much, much better,” he said.
“But we still have work to do. We got to stay on top of this virus, we got to keep building new generations of vaccines and have adequate treatments, we can get through this but… we got to stay focused and we are. We're staying focused on managing this.”
According to Jha, “it’s critically important” that everyone over 50 years old, if they haven’t received a shot in 2022, “get one now, you can still get [an] … omicron-specific booster this fall and winter” to ensure protection through the summer.
Jha warned that the current variant is “immune evasive.”
“If you're infected three, four months, you can get reinfected,” he said. “We're seeing people who are not up to date on their vaccines have breakthrough infections. But the good news here is our tools and our vaccines, if you're up to date, vaccinated recently, if you get an infection, if you get treatments, those continue to work really, really well.”
“We’re still seeing some protection against infection but not as much,” he added. “This is that immune evasive nature of this virus.”
The doctor insisted that as far as mask guidelines, local jurisdictions should make their own decisions about masks.
“My view has been clear, local jurisdiction, cities, counties and states should make decisions about mask mandates because communities are different and their pattern of transmission is different,” he said. “CDC has clear guidance on this as well through their COVID community levels and the CDC recommendation is that when you're in a high zone… people wearing masks indoors is really important and it will make a difference.”
Fran Beyer ✉
Fran Beyer is a writer with Newsmax and covers national politics.
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