BERNARD COLUMN: The COVID pandemic is not yet over, CDC

Published 10:30 am Thursday, March 3, 2022

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By Jack Bernard
Bernard is a retired corporate executive

“It’s going to go away, hopefully at the end of the month. And, if not, hopefully it will be soon after that.”-President Trump, 3-31-20

“Over 3,600 Americans were dying each and every day.  And now, even with the surge among the unvaccinated, we’re down to that — 300 Americans a day.”- President Biden, 7-29-21 

Sorry, but based on the facts, I don’t believe Trump or Biden about Covid. Here’s the national situation as of today. Over the last 7 days (ending 2-24-22), there were an average of 1,943 Americans dying of Covid every day. Yes, that’s a lot better than it was when Biden took office. But it is currently over 6 times what it was when Biden gave that optimistic speech. And the CDC projects that in a month, we will still see 1,332 deaths of Americans per day … over four times as many as back in July.

In my opinion, politics is the only reason the federal government (i.e., the CDC) has kept the official US definition of “fully vaccinated” as two shots. Almost 65% of our population has had the two vaccinations. Herd immunity is 75%.

However, science tells us that the booster is also needed for maximum protection, just like you need a flu shot every year rather than just twice in your life. But boosters have only been given to 44% of that 65% getting the two shots. That means that only 29% of our population have had three shots, the number recommended by virtually all scientific authorities. No wonder the virus is still not under control after more than two years.

And our own state of Georgia is much worse. The day that Biden gave his “the worst is over” speech (7-27-21), Georgia had 13 deaths. On 2-23-22, we had 91 … 7 times as many.

Yes, things are relatively better versus the pandemic peak, but we are still under siege by this dangerous virus. And that’s true for our entire country. Of course, we all have to learn to live with Covid, at least for the short term. However, that does not mean throwing out the science in favor of politics and convenience. 

Which gets me to the CDC recommendation lifting its recommendation that people wear masks indoors for geographic areas of the US that are not having high transmission rates (70% of America). As TV late night host Jimmy Kimmel said, this sounds like, “After a careful analysis, the CDC concluded that no one was listening to them anyway, so just go ahead and do whatever.” 

As Kimmel implied, stating that his audience would still be required to be masked, I believe it was too early to do away with the recommendation.

I’m basing that on the death rates now versus July and the fact that, especially for people over 60, Covid is still a real danger.

In my opinion, masks should still be worn by all of us, with some exceptions like low-risk schoolchildren where masking hurts their learning. 

Don’t misunderstand me; I hate wearing a mask. But I do anyway with few exceptions. 

But even more importantly, Americans and Georgians must get the two initial shots and the booster. Why? Because, per the CDC’s own numbers, Covid is still rampant in my state and the nation. And these measures are what the science recommends.