ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

American Opinion: Despite what the president says, the pandemic is definitely not over

From the editorial: Just because the nation has numbed itself to the pernicious and persistent effects of this virus doesn’t mean it no longer qualifies as a pandemic. And the country is heading

coronavirus.jpg
A coronavirus graphic. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
We are part of The Trust Project.

President Joe Biden is flat-out wrong if he thinks the pandemic is over. Although the trendlines are pointing downward, the United States still registers around 360 deaths per day from the coronavirus along with a seven-day average of 55,000 new infections, with 13,700 people currently hospitalized. Those numbers are a far cry from the earlier days of the pandemic, but that hardly means the threat is gone.

American Opinion
American Opinion
Tribune graphic / Forum News Service
More American Opinion:
The Justice Department should ask Cannon to recuse herself, and if she refuses, it should appeal for reassignment of the case.
From the editorial: The right to marry whom you love should not be subject to the whims of an out-of-step conservative court or be left to a patchwork of state regulations. Congress must make the
From American Opinion editorial: Enter the Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force, a nationwide effort that’s being made to investigate and take legal action against companies who bring foreign
From the American Opinioin editorial: Late in 2021, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland formally created a process to replace derogatory names of geographic features across the nation. She

Biden’s pronouncement on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that “the pandemic is over” did a disservice to his own administration’s efforts to promote getting a third booster shot with a new vaccine deemed far more effective in combating the many coronavirus variants in circulation. Americans disinclined to take precautions will take Biden’s words as confirmation that the coronavirus isn’t such a big deal.

“We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over,” Biden said. “If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The public is definitely willing to take more risks with the disease. The fear of death is subsiding as doctors improve treatments and vaccines reduce the likelihood of severe illness. But even healthy people are still getting infected, even after being vaccinated and double-boosted.

More Opinion:
From the commentary: It is time for our new congressional leaders to make history by bringing a new era of unity to our tired old partisan gun politics. Be it resolved: The “Party of Law-and-Order”
From the editorial: If a major presidential candidate calling for eliminating the Constitution isn’t enough to merit a preemptive, party-wide rejection of his candidacy, what is?
From the commentary: The federal government is taking in a record amount of revenue, but spending more than it receives and Democrats want to spend even more. Why is Congress deaf to the warnings of
From the editorial: "The sad reality is that busy lives roll on. ... New moments of significance occur. Those who lived through and were affected by the horribleness of significant events start
From the commentary: That is the silver lining, if there is one, of today’s bitter, culturally charged partisan warfare: It has made civic engagement more meaningful for millions of citizens,
From the commentary: r decades, the Supreme Court has been clear that stopping discrimination is more important than protecting the freedom to discriminate. The court should reaffirm this principle
From the editorial: School officials need to recognize that this may be their only chance to reverse the harms imposed by the pandemic. First, districts should gather data to determine the scale of
An editorial cartoon by Dave Granlund.
From the commentary: This much is clear. Strengthening Harris' numbers is in the administration's best political interest. The more comfortable people are with Vice President Kamala Harris, the more

“We’ve had two million cases reported over the last 28 days, and we know underreporting is substantial,” Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, a University of Minnesota infectious-disease specialist, told The New York Times, adding that the coronavirus “continues to be the No. 4 cause of death in the country.”

Back in June 2021, officials were tempted to declare the pandemic over because infection rates were far lower than they are today. On June 14, 2021, there were only 8,370 registered nationwide new cases and 13,300 over a seven-day average. Within seven months, new cases had surged to 1.26 million, with the seven-day average reaching 764,000, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In other words, lulls in infection rates can be deceiving. There were similar lulls in the summer of 2020 followed by a dramatic surge in January 2021.

Current hospitalizations remain stubbornly high. And the statistics are almost certainly underplaying the full extent of the nation’s current infections because home-testing kits have eliminated much of the reporting of positive cases that previously informed the CDC’s databases. People are getting sick but not reporting it to authorities.

Just because the nation has numbed itself to the pernicious and persistent effects of this virus doesn’t mean it no longer qualifies as a pandemic. And the country is heading into another likely winter surge. The president could do all Americans a favor by maintaining a cautious tone and strongly emphasizing the importance of vaccinations and boosters — at least helping ensure that infections yield the mildest symptoms possible.

This American Opinion editorial is the view of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Board. Send feedback to: opinion@wctrib.com.

©2022 STLtoday.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

What to read next
From the editorial: The railroad companies were able to gamble too. The companies had less incentive to offer paid sick leave or make adjustments to their profitable, punishing scheduling systems
From the editorial: House Republicans are going to do what they’re going to do. And, as they did with Bill Clinton’s impeachment, they’re likely to see their transparently cynical attempts to
From the editorial: China should allow for peaceful protests and look to loosen the “zero-COVID” policy and announce a scientific examination into the origins of the virus and turn the corner and
From the editorial: Concerns about which states go first have persisted for years. In the mid-1990s, there was a push by the National Association of Secretaries of State for a system of regional