Perspectives: Asylum Seekers Are Not A Covid Threat; When Will Covid Shift From Pandemic To Endemic?
Opinion writers weigh in on these covid and vaccine topics.
Don't Close Border To Asylum Seekers. They Are Not A Public Health Threat
Many issues with COVID-19 have led to a discomforting conflation of politics and science: the value of masks, when to forbid gatherings and whether vaccines will stop transmission. In some cases, we needed new evidence to make the policy decision. In others, there were tradeoffs with economic or liberty concerns. Yet, on one issue, the public health scientific community has been of one voice: There is virtually no logic to closing the border to asylum-seekers to prevent the public from contracting COVID-19. (S. Patrick Kachur and Leslie "Les" Roberts, 9/12)
Covid Is On Its Way To Becoming Just Another Virus
In the days before Covid, I’d often get frustrated by the response that doctors would give when I turned up at their clinics with some infection or other: “It’s just a virus,” they’d say. As someone who’s long been fascinated by the detective work that goes into tracing the origins and history of infections, 1 the answer always seemed too perfunctory. Which virus was it? Where and when did this strain emerge? How many other people were getting infected with this same variant this year? (David Fickling, 9/12)
How Endemic COVID Becomes A Manageable Risk
This pandemic will eventually be over, and the Delta surge—in which most of those not yet vaccinated against the coronavirus could become infected—may well be America’s last destructive wave. But just because we’re eager to move past the virus doesn’t mean it’s finished with us. In our large, open, and globally connected society, getting to zero COVID, the goal that Australia and New Zealand have pursued, is as politically unrealistic as it is biologically implausible. Americans are mostly done with the onerous shutdowns that such a goal would require. The virus has now spread so widely in the world that even tight, long-lasting limits on Americans’ movement—restrictions far beyond what we would tolerate—could not stamp it out entirely. Instead, SARS-CoV-2 will become an endemic virus, settling alongside the other four strains of coronaviruses that circulate widely among us. (Scott Gottlieb, 9/12)
The Washington Post:
Vaccine Mandates Are Hard. So Is Covid
President Biden was skeptical about vaccine mandates last December, but his attempt to persuade people to get vaccinated fell short as the delta variant sent infections skyrocketing. Now, he wants all large businesses in the United States to impose a vaccine mandate on their employees, or have them show a negative test once a week. This significant extension of executive authority over the private sector will almost certainly run into logistical and legal hurdles, and meet political resistance, but the effort is justifiable at a time of national emergency. (9/11)
The Star Tribune:
A Needed Push To Get Back To Normal
An evolving enemy gaining ground necessitates a bold new battle plan. On Thursday, President Joe Biden rolled out such a strategy against COVID-19, taking the fight against the virus to the next level by targeting one of its few weaknesses: vulnerability to free, widely available vaccines. A sweeping new requirement to get the shots or undergo frequent testing is the most potent pandemic-fighting tool available. It's also likely the most controversial. But with the delta variant overwhelming health care systems and threatening the nation's economic recovery, Biden shouldered the political risk inherent in a mandate and made the right call: new requirements for employees at large private employers, federal workers and contractors, as well as most health care staff. (9/11)