Different Takes: Walmart’s Secret To Persuading The Vaccine-Hesitant; The Future With Omicron
Opinion writers weigh in on these covid and vaccine issues.
Walmart Has Been Quietly Convincing The Unvaccinated To Get Vaccinated. Here's Their Secret
Nearly a year into the largest vaccine rollout in history, the U.S.'s efforts have yielded among the lowest inoculation rates of any industrialized democracy on the globe. Our media and politicians all too often blame the unvaccinated for their hesitancy, casting them as unreachable Trump voting conspiracy theorists who will refuse to accept the facts. It's a view popularized by many who—not coincidentally—advocate for "mandate or bust" approaches. But is this perspective really born out by the data? Our data suggests that the unvaccinated—even in red states—can be reached. (Adam Sohn and Joel Finkelstein, 1/4)
Omicron And The Return To Normalcy
My first mental model of this pandemic took shape on February 24, 2020, when James Hamblin published “You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus.” At the time, there were fewer than 100 known cases in the United States. Yet in his telling, 40 to 70 percent of humans would eventually get infected. Slowing COVID’s spread still made sense, to avoid overwhelming hospitals, but were countermeasures warranted beyond what was necessary to avoid swamping caregivers? (Conor Friedersdorf, 1/5)
Home Covid-19 Tests Should Be Highly Sensitive To Infections
With rapid testing becoming a key tool in the fight against Covid-19, in a mid-October call with the White House I offered to sell my Covid testing company — recently valued at $99.8 million — to the government for just $1. As an alternative, I also offered to sell the government our test at cost. My company, Global Diagnostic Systems, had just completed clinical trials showing our rapid Covid-19 home test had 100% sensitivity (meaning no false negatives) and 95% specificity (meaning just 5% false positives). On hearing about this performance, a senior White House official told me, “Apply to the FDA ASAP.” (Elliott J. Millenson, 1/6)
East Bay Times:
Will Supreme Court Back Sensible Workplace Vaccine Mandates?
Under well-established law, the Biden administration’s vaccination mandates are clearly legal. But the politicization of the pandemic and vaccines makes it doubtful whether the Supreme Court will uphold them. Cases involving two regulations that impose vaccination requirements on workers will go before the court on Friday. (Erwin Chemerinsky, 1/5)
The New York Times:
Here’s When We Expect Omicron To Peak
The Omicron variant is spreading widely and infecting large numbers of people, including the vaccinated and those previously infected with the virus. While spikes in cases have been the norm for the past two years, there are clear indications this wave will differ substantially from previous ones. The record number of cases in the United States and globally is largely because Omicron is more contagious than other variants and has a greater ability to evade immunity to infection. (Jeffrey Shaman, 1/6)
As COVID-19 Cases Surge, Pritzker Should Send Out High-Quality Masks For All
In December, as COVID-19 cases spiked in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont launched an initiative to provide masks for all Connecticut residents. While the program itself is newsworthy, Lamont’s focus on not just the quantity but also the quality of masks being distributed is especially worth noting. (Richard Boykin, 1/5)