Former Aides Urge Biden to Modify COVID-19 Strategy

Six members of Joe Biden’s transition advisory group now urge him to adopt a different strategy for the COVID-19 outbreak than he is presently utilizing.

Drs. Ezekiel Emanuel, Rick Bright, Michael Osterholm, David Michaels, Celine Gounder, and Luciana Borio all wrote opinion pieces for the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Overview

According to Emanuel, Osterholm, and Gounder, Biden’s national policy for the COVID-19 response must be “adjusted,” due to the omicron version of SARS-CoV-2.

The ‘zero COVID’ policy is not part of the ‘new normal’ with COVID-19. They wrote that both vaccination and infection appear to provide only temporary protection.

The current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines do not provide sterilizing immunity. Infections cannot be eliminated when long-term resistance is compromised by infections, immunization, or nonhuman sources.

In addition to SARS-CoV-2, additional prevalent respiratory viruses include influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and others.

Biden’s team emphasized individuals have been leading regular lives while dealing with various respiratory infections; they must learn to see COVID-19 as simply another concern.

Despite this aim, they stated COVID-19 is now more dangerous than other conditions in terms of hospitalizations and deaths. There’s still no consensus on “acceptable criteria for hospitalization and death,” they say.

In their opinion, the Biden administration should implement facilities with “real-time computerized gathering of extensive information on respiratory virus infections.”

They should also have vaccines integrated with sociodemographic and other pertinent characteristics. This approach would gather information from research universities, labs, and medical systems across the country.

These doctors also advocated for “continuous public health operational staff” to address ongoing issues and crises. This includes public workers and school nurses.

They also urged expanding telemedicine and allowing doctors to practice and bill in several states. Finally, Biden’s team stated “rebuilding faith in public health institutions and collaborative action in public health” is critical.

Fighting the Virus

On Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed she hadn’t seen the pieces. To “fight the virus,” she said, Biden’s mission remains.

He wants to save as many lives as he can, Psaki claimed. It is shown increasing vaccination rates, growing booster doses, encouraging mask use, and providing schools with the tools to remain open while maintaining safety are steps that work.

Physicians said the government has to create “a robust, permanently supported system for testing, monitoring, and mitigating measures.”

Borio, Emanuel, and Bright’s third essay focuses on “faster development and implementation of vaccines and medicines.”

Concerning vaccinations, the experts said requirements “are successful, especially among those who are postponing, confused, or have impediments to access.” Mandates, they believe, are required to vaccinate 90% of the population.

According to them, regulations for government personnel and contractors, healthcare professionals, and employees of firms with at least 100 employees are “essential” to “restore pre–COVID-19 life expectancy and social and economic vigor.”

In terms of medicine, they identified the varying levels of efficiency of therapies such as Remdesevir and dexamethasone, monoclonal antibody therapy, and oral treatments like Molnupiravir and Paxlovid.

They demanded all outpatient therapies be made “free of charge” and available “promptly” after testing positive.