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Tags: covid | lockdowns | china | ashish jha | white house

White House's Dr. Jha: China's Zero COVID 'Not Realistic'

(Newsmax/"Wake Up America Weekend")

By    |   Sunday, 27 November 2022 05:02 PM EST

Amid massive unrest due to more COVID lockdowns in China, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha calls "zero COVID" a failed policy.

"Yes, so China has pursued a zero COVID strategy; obviously, that is not our strategy," Jha told ABC News' "This Week." "We don't think that's realistic, certainly not realistic for the American people."

Instead, the Biden administration is going to continue to work toward immunity in the population through vaccination, particularly with the vulnerable and elderly, Jha told host Martha Raddatz.

"Our strategy has been build up immunity in the population by getting people vaccinated," he said. "That's how you manage an incredibly contagious variant like Omicron.

"I think it's going to be very, very difficult for China to be able to contain this through their zero COVID strategy."

Hundreds of demonstrators and police clashed in Shanghai on Sunday night as protests over China's stringent COVID restrictions flared for a third day and spread to several cities in the wake of a deadly fire in the country's far west.

The wave of civil disobedience is unprecedented in mainland China since President Xi Jinping assumed power a decade ago, as frustration mounts over his signature zero-COVID policy nearly three years into the pandemic. The COVID measures are also exacting a heavy toll on the world's second-largest economy.

"I would recommend that they pursue the strategy making sure everybody gets vaccinated, particularly their elderly," Jha told Raddatz. "That, I think, is the path out of this virus. Lockdowns and zero COVID is going to be very difficult to sustain."

Jha also responded to reports of the tripledemic of the flu, COVID, and the respiratory virus RSV.

"We do have three infectious respiratory viruses, as you said: flu, RSV, and COVID — all out there," Jha said. "The good news, Martha, is we have two highly effective vaccines against two of them.

"So the first thing that I think every parent should do — what I've done with my children, what I recommended — is get everybody in the family vaccinated ... against flu and against COVID. That takes those two and takes them off the table in terms of causing serious illness.

"RSV, for most people, not a big deal; it's very mild. For the elderly and for the youngest kids, it can be a problem. So then it's just about basic respiratory hygiene that we know about, right: avoiding sick contacts; if your kid is sick, keeping them at home; washing your hands; cleaning surfaces. There's a set of things that really make a difference with RSV; and we think ... if people do that, it really can make a difference.

"One bit of good news just in the last week, we've seen RSV peak and maybe turn down. I'm obviously hopeful that that trend is going to continue."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Amid massive unrest due to more COVID lockdowns in China, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha calls "zero COVID" a failed policy.
covid, lockdowns, china, ashish jha, white house
Sunday, 27 November 2022 05:02 PM
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