4/7 White House Briefing
[Note: I also watched Biden’s remarks on 4/6, but it was pretty much all covered in the 4/7 briefing]
“Better days are on the horizon. We do believe a more normal Fourth of July holiday is within reach. But that’s nearly three months away. And as the President said, “The real question is: How much death, disease, and misery are we going to see between now and then?” …It is in our power to minimize death, disease, and misery. If all of us do our part, we can help save lives in April, May, and June.”
All American adults [Note: I think this is really 16+] will be eligible to be vaccinated beginning 4/19 at the latest.
[This is an acceleration of the previous 5/1 directive and all states are now on board. I found this state-by-state update that may be helpful:
CDC estimates that ~80 percent of PK-12 teachers, school staff, and childcare workers had at least their first dose by 3/31.
Monthly School Survey Dashboard has been updated with February data:
Cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, but deaths continue to fall.
“Across the country, we are hearing reports of clusters of cases associated with daycare centers and youth sports. Hospitals are seeing more and more younger adults — those in their 30s and 40s — admitted with severe disease. Data suggests this is all happening as we are seeing increasing prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 variants…Based on our most recent estimates from CDC surveillance, the B117 variant is now the most common lineage circulating in the United States.”
Dr. Fauci’s segment was on duration of immunity. Key takeaways were that they now have data supporting immunity from both natural infection and vaccination lasts at least 6 months and an endpoint still has not been determined. Also, if you look at the graphs, the second dose provides a significant bump in response. (Dosage points are the up arrows.)
Q Acceptable daily case counts for reopening broadly?
Dr. Walensky: I think Dr. Fauci, over the summer, had been talking about case counts below 10,000, below 5,000. We’re at 62,000 today. In the context of vaccination, we still need to have our case counts be really low to stop circulating virus, to stop the emergence of variants, to stop hospitalizations, and ultimately, to stop deaths. I’m really encouraged by these decreased numbers of deaths that I believe to be an impact of vaccination, especially the vaccination of our elderly communities. But I think we’re way too high to be thinking that we’ve won this race.
[Note: One thing Dr. Walensky did NOT say that she usually does, is a reminder that death trends usually lag behind case and hospitalization trends. I am hoping this means they think that the vaccinations have taken hold to the point that the rising case and hospitalization counts won’t inevitably lead to an increase in deaths as they have in the past, but that may just be @Jeff_AZ’s optimism rubbing off on me. Still, the increasing hospitalizations and the ramifications for long term health impacts is concerning.]
Dr. Walensky also mentioned that the older adults still being hospitalized are those that are unvaccinated or very recently vaccinated.
Q Can you kind of clarify or qualify what does the finish line look like? What should people be looking for to know that we are approaching that? Since we know we’re not at it now, what does that look like?
Dr. Fauci: I don’t think it’s going to be a precise number. I don’t know what that number is. I can’t say it’s going to be “this” percent. But we’ll know it when we see it. It’ll be obvious as the numbers come down rather dramatically. And when they do, we’re going to wind up getting really, stepwise, much, much more towards what we consider approaching a degree of normality, which everyone really quite dramatically notices it. It’s on the way. Hang in there. [Please, please let it be by the end of May so I can feel really good about our Disney trip!]
On a personal note, DD20 and her BF got their J&Js today, so they’re done!