According to Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, there’s “no doubt” the current surge of coronavirus cases, largely due to the spread of the Delta variant, is beginning to slow down in many places around the United States.
However, there are still parts of the country that are still in danger.
“The Delta surge is clearly much, much better but the problem is we have a big country and different places are surging at different moments,” Jha stated during an interview on Newsmax’s “Wake Up America.” “The horrible surge of the south is over; there’s no doubt in my mind about that. The question is, I still see parts of the country, the Great Plains, parts of the upper Midwest where numbers [are] still going up.”
Meanwhile, studies remain mixed on natural immunity versus immunizations when it comes to which provides the stronger protection against COVID-19, Jha said.
“There are probably about 20 studies out there, and a lot of them are from Israel, but not all of them,” said the dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health. “More than a half in my reading show that vaccine-induced immunity is stronger, but there are a good number of well-done studies that show that natural immunity is stronger. The way I look at this is natural immunity has some benefit, right? There’s no doubt about that.”
He then stated that there’s no way to verify whether or not a person’s natural immunity is “robust,” which is what is leading to the push for vaccine mandates.
Jha also commented on Pfizer’s request for an emergency use authorization for its vaccine for children, saying that when it comes to the vaccine, parents should concentrate more on data or less on the distinction between emergency use and full use.
“My expectation is that again what’s going to be a decent-sized randomized trial,” Jha went on to say. “It’s going to show clear benefits, and if it does, I think we should move forward on getting kids vaccinated … I don’t know why people are focused as much on the EUA versus full approval. If there is really good, strong data, then we should move forward on it. If there isn’t, we should wait until there’s better data.”
Over the weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauchi, the head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated that he’s still encouraging folks to wear masks, even if they’ve received both shots, but did state that allowing kids to go trick-or-treating is a “safe activity” this year.
Dr. Jha said he doesn’t think masks are necessary outdoors and that he wouldn’t wear them for strenuous activities, such as running in the Boston Marathon.
“I’ve been on the advisory committee for the Boston Marathon [and] just to be very honest, I do not believe in outdoor masks,” said the doctor. “I wouldn’t wear it. I’m going to go see the marathon, by the way, and I’m not going to be wearing a mask, and I don’t think runners need to be wearing a mask while they’re running.”