New coronavirus cases are ticking upward again after weeks of steady decline. Public health officials are warning that new, more transmissible variants could be taking hold.
Despite the recent downward trend, the number of new infections remains critically high in the country, with more than 125,000 cases reported over the weekend.
Health experts gave varying explanations for why cases were declining: The quickening pace of vaccinations; the natural seasonal ebb of respiratory viruses; adherence to social distancing measures.
But whatever the reason they dropped, it seems to have stalled. And the more contagious variants are probably driving the uptick, according to interviews with more than a dozen epidemiologists, modelers and virologists.
“The latest data suggest that these declines may be stalling, potentially leveling off,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday. “It’s still a very high number. We at CDC consider this a very concerning shift in the trajectory.”
“Reopening just as these variants are spreading is not smart,” said Tom Frieden, a former CDC director. “We’re like a punch-drunk boxer, getting up just as our opponent is preparing to deliver an even faster punch. … By reopening, we’re leaning into that left hook. Why can’t we ever learn?”
Is UFT President Michael Mulgrew even questioning Mayor death Blasio on reopening school buildings?
I truly do not understand the approach the United States has taken in this pandemic. By closing down states too slowly, or barely at all, and then opening up too soon last year, we allowed the virus to hang on longer and explode again. Now it looks like we've learned nothing even after 500,000 deaths. Politicians from both parties, not just Trump, need to be held accountable. Now that Biden is President, suddenly many Democrats are taking the Trump position on opening up the economy.
In Europe, some scientists have a zero Covid goal. Can we at least have a coherent discussion in the United States or do we just accept some half-assed mitigation attemps and so many more needless deaths because the country is tied to a 5-year old's notion of what freedom is? I am fearing that as the elites are getting vaccinated, their outlook is going to be that COVID-19 isn't a problem any longer. If we let the new variants spread out of control, they will be wrong again.