There is "no doubt" the current surge of COVID-19 due to the Delta variant is slowing down in many places, but there are still parts of the country that remain in danger, Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told Newsmax Monday.
"The Delta surge is clearly much, much better but the problem is we have a big country and different places are surging at different moments," said Jha on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "The horrible surge of the south is over; there's no doubt in my mind about that. The question is, I still see parts of the country, the Great Plains, parts of the upper Midwest where numbers [are] still going up."
Meanwhile, studies remain mixed on natural immunity versus immunizations when it comes to which provides the stronger protection against COVID-19, Jha said.
"There are probably about 20 studies out there, and a lot of them are from Israel, but not all of them," said Jha. "More than a half in my reading show that vaccine-induced immunity is stronger, but there are a good number of well-done studies that show that natural immunity is stronger. The way I look at this is natural immunity has some benefit, right? There's no doubt about that."
However, he stressed that there is no way to verify if a person's natural immunity is robust, leading to the push for vaccine mandates.
Jha also commented on Pfizer's request for an emergency use authorization for its vaccine for children, saying that when it comes to the vaccine, parents should concentrate more on data or less on the distinction between emergency use and full use.
"My expectation is that again what's going to be a decent-sized randomized trial," said Jha. "It's going to show clear benefits, and if it does, I think we should move forward on getting kids vaccinated ... I don't know why people are focused as much on the EUA versus full approval. If there is really good, strong data, then we should move forward on it. If there isn't, we should wait until there's better data."
Meanwhile, over the weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he's still encouraging people to wear masks, even if they're fully vaccinated, but he said trick-or-treating is a safe activity this year.
However, Jha said he doesn't believe that masks are needed outside and that he wouldn't wear one for strenuous activities like Monday's Boston Marathon.
"I've been on the advisory committee for the Boston Marathon [and] just to be very honest, I do not believe in outdoor masks," said Jha. "I wouldn't wear it. I'm going to go see the marathon, by the way, and I'm not going to be wearing a mask, and I don't think runners need to be wearing a mask while they're running."
According to race organizers, runners must either provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Masks aren't required for runners but are to be enforced on participant transportation and in other areas, in accordance with local guidelines.
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