Perspectives: How Worried Should We Be About Delta?; Founding Fathers Would Have Been Vaccinated
Opinion writers consider these Covid and vaccine topics.
The New York Times:
The Covid Delta Variant: How Dangerous Is It?
When a wave of coronavirus infections crashed over India in the spring, scientists wondered whether a new variant, Delta, was partly to blame. Time appears to have answered the question: Having spread to at least 85 countries, the Delta variant is now fueling outbreaks around the world and prompting new lockdowns — even in countries that seemed to have the virus under control. “The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate Covid-19,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said last week. What makes the Delta variant so concerning, and how will it affect the course of the pandemic? Here’s what people are saying. (Spencer Bokat-Lindell, 7/1)
Rejecting COVID Vaccine Is Unpatriotic. Take It From George Washington
The Founding Fathers defined a vision of American liberty for future generations when they officially adopted the Declaration of Independence 245 years ago on July 4. As we emerge from the worst pandemic in a century – a public health crisis during which the word “freedom” was weaponized for political gain – it is important to remember how our Founders viewed public health in the context of freedom. While some anti-vaccination groups use the term "medical freedom" to reject preventive measures against COVID-19, our nation’s first leaders were strongly committed to public health, including vaccinations. George Washington ordered mass inoculation of his troops against smallpox to secure a victory against the British in the Revolutionary War. James Madison did the same during the War of 1812 and went a step further, signing into law a statute to promote wider vaccination of the general public – one of the nation’s first public health bills. (Lorenzo Servitje, Martha Lincoln and Dr. Gavin Yaney, 7/2)
The New York Times:
The FDA Should Fully Approve Pfizer And Moderna's Vaccines
Here’s a paradox: A new drug for Alzheimer’s disease, aducanumab, gets approved by the Food and Drug Administration through an accelerated process without sufficient data, although there was limited evidence that it works, leading three advisory board members to resign in protest. Meanwhile, mRNA coronavirus vaccines are not yet fully licensed despite massive evidence of their benefits. In December 2020, the F.D.A. approved the distribution of mRNA coronavirus vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna under the agency’s emergency use authorization provision, which permits an accelerated approval process for medications and treatments during a public health emergency. The approvals were granted after the agency reviewed the results of clinical trials that involved more than 70,000 participants. Until the coronavirus pandemic, the agency had never given an E.U.A. to a new vaccine. (Eric J. Topol, 7/1)
The Health Care Workforce Is Understaffed For Life After Covid-19
As the U.S. gradually unburies itself from the Covid-19 pandemic, some people have been sounding the alarm about looming shortages of physicians and nurses. They should be equally worried about shortages of others in the health care workforce, like medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, dental assistants, and more. (Jaime Nguyen, 7/2)