Meanwhile, former Biden advisors publish ‘endemic COVID’ policies in JAMA.
While the United States is dealing with its Omicron variant surge, the United Kingdom had its wave hit several weeks earlier.
Scientists and public health officials are reviewing the numbers, and it appears the variant may be less deadly than seasonal flu.
Some experts have always maintained that the coronavirus would eventually morph into a seasonal cold-like virus as the world develops immunity through vaccines and natural infection. But the emergence of the highly-mutated Omicron variant appears to have sped the process up.
MailOnline analysis shows Covid killed one in 33 people who tested positive at the peak of the devastating second wave last January, compared to just one in 670 now. But experts believe the figure could be even lower because of Omicron.
The case fatality rate — the proportion of confirmed infections that end in death — for seasonal influenza is 0.1, the equivalent of one in 1,000.
One former Government adviser today said if the trend continues to drop then ‘we should be asking whether we are justified in having any measures we would not bring for a bad flu season’. But other experts say coronavirus is much more transmissible than flu, meaning it will inevitably cause more deaths.
Meanwhile, researchers at Washington University modelling the next stage of the pandemic expect Omicron to kill up to 99 per cent fewer people than Delta, in another hint it could be less deadly than flu.
Data on current U.S. cases suggest a similar trend: Many cases but substantially fewer fatalities.
On Monday, more than 1 million new cases were reported in a single day – including some cases from holiday backlogs.
The current national case rate is more than twice as high as the rate reported in January 2021, during the U.S.’s last record-breaking surge.
Yet so far, hospitalization and death numbers have remained lower than last winter – both nationally and in many states and cities.
About 85,000 Covid patients are currently hospitalized in America’s hospitals, compared to a peak of 124,000 during last winter’s surge, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Each day in the past week, about 1,300 Americans died of Covid.
While this is still a high number, it’s about half of the death rate at this time last year – over 2,600 Covid deaths per day.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be trying to get ahead of the real science at this point. She predicts a steep decline in cases, similar to what has occurred in South Africa.
The rise and fall of Covid diagnoses has historically been shown as “waves,” but Walensky suggested the omicron surge in the U.S. may be visualized more as an “ice pick,” with a dramatic rise and fall in cases similar to South Africa, which has passed its omicron surge.
“I do think in places that we are seeing this really steep incline, that we may well see also a precipitous decline,” Walensky said during the briefing.
If this is the case, expect a victory lap by Team Biden and claims of mandate success by politicians and bureaucrats who reimposed mask mandates and other COVID restrictions.
Meanwhile, several experts have published a series of articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association outlining new policies around an endemic COVID. Several of these authors have previously advised Joe Biden.
[The former advisors] include Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist who runs the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota; Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the vice provost for global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania; and Dr. Rick Bright, a former government official who is running a pandemic prevention program at the Rockefeller Foundation.
They argue that the goal is not to eradicate SARS-CoV-2 but to live with it — and other viruses.
“Without a strategic plan for the ‘new normal’ with endemic COVID-19, more people in the U.S. will unnecessarily experience morbidity and mortality, health inequities will widen, and trillions will be lost from the U.S. economy,” they wrote. “This time, the nation must learn and prepare effectively for the future.”
Their proposals include reliance on testing, vaccine boosters, and N95s . . . none of which have controlled the waves nor supplant the need for better and more accessible therapeutics. Perhaps instead of vaccines, Big Pharma should develop and market a good OTC COVID medicine.
However, it is a sign that Biden may be persuaded to surrender again. This time, to reality.DONATE
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