Note: The FYWP function that lets me post screen-shots here decided to go on strike just as I started the process here, so I’ve pruned the list down a bit to get as much as possible updated.
People have decided that the pandemic is over, would’ve been a more accurate phrasing, but in context, President Biden’s remarks are far less shocking than his opponents would like to pretend:
here are the in-context remarks pic.twitter.com/klWMIChllC
— GONELIKEHELLMACHINE (@golikehellmachi) September 19, 2022
… Reaching the end of a pandemic is not like driving out of one county into the next. There is no fixed demarcation between a pandemic and post-pandemic period, especially for the first recorded pandemic caused by a coronavirus. It’s not like we know it’s over if cases drop to a certain level for a prescribed length of time.
Experts say there are no accepted metrics or defined international rules that tell us when we can call the code on this horrible event. In reality, things are much more ephemeral when it comes to knowing when a pandemic is over.
“It’s over when people decide that it’s over. … And most people seem to have decided it’s over,” said John Barry, author of “The Great Influenza,” a history of the 1918 Spanish flu.
Most of the experts who spoke with STAT echoed a version of Barry’s remarks: In some respects, the pandemic is over when people stop taking measures to protect themselves, when they stop following advice about how to lower their risk, when they resume pre-pandemic behavior…
Some people might assume the WHO will issue a decree of sorts, an all-clear declaration. But in reality that’s not something the global health agency does, said Alexandra Phelan, an assistant professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security. The WHO didn’t declare the start of the pandemic and it won’t declare an end to it, she said.
At some point, however, the WHO will announce the lifting of the state of emergency it declared in late January of 2020 when Tedros declared the new disease constituted a public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC, as the instrument is known in public health circles. The director-general seeks advice from a committee of outside experts on issues related to the PHEIC; that committee must meet at least every three months, though it could meet sooner if Tedros asked it to.
The Covid emergency committee last met on July 8, which means an early October meeting must be held. Phelan doesn’t think the committee will advise calling off the PHEIC at that point, though she thinks conditions may allow for it toward the end of the year.
The U.S. government also has an emergency declaration in effect, a tool that gives it powers that have eased its ability to enact policies, allocate funding, and fast-track the authorization of Covid vaccines, drugs, and tests. At some point it will be declared at an end, but that is not what Biden was signaling in the “60 Minutes” interview.
The Department of Health and Human Services has said it will give a 60-day notice to states before it terminates the public health emergency, or allows it to expire. The next date for extending the emergency declaration is in October…
#LongCovid & myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome—ME/CFS—patients protest in front of White House. Protesters expressed frustration that President Biden declared the pandemic over https://t.co/DOmXSL6HzB
— delthia ricks 🔬 (@DelthiaRicks) September 20, 2022
From a longer thread:
Guiyang officials offered a sincere apology for the accident and expressed condolences to the victims' families. A full review is ongoing and those at fault will be held accountable, but people are saying this isn't enough https://t.co/GhN209ZldF
— Linda Lew 刘凌达 (@Lindadalew) September 19, 2022
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 20, 2022
Japan has begun its rollout of vaccines against the omicron coronavirus variant as part of efforts to stem the ongoing seventh wave of COVID-19 infections in the country. https://t.co/mUtLiRVviP
— The Japan Times (@japantimes) September 20, 2022
Looking back, Francis Collins wishes pandemic response leaders were clearer from the jump that evolving situations require evolving guidance.
That's a problem with every outbreak of a new disease. Not sure why we haven't learned that lesson. https://t.co/rVCi0f1WXG
— Helen Branswell 🇺🇦 (@HelenBranswell) September 19, 2022
Lots of people still die from Covid and the need for new drugs is very real. But at this stage of our fight with the disease, it's more difficult to test new approaches, as @Jasonmmast explains in this smart piece. https://t.co/Nun4Q8JpON
— Helen Branswell 🇺🇦 (@HelenBranswell) September 19, 2022
In the lab: New genomic test can identify patients at risk of severe #Covid. The approach has proved >90% accurate at predicting outcomes for >2 dozen patients in an ICU at Univ of Virginia & 100 patients from data gathered from Duke and Harvard https://t.co/9b5Tp5kY7B pic.twitter.com/ysRtBLQj0r
— delthia ricks 🔬 (@DelthiaRicks) September 17, 2022
A Boston Univ researcher is proposing a nat'l program to support people w/ #LongCovid. The condition affects millions in the US & has driven many to quit their jobs. Dr. Howard Bauchner wants the govt to commit to a Nat'l Long Covid Compensation Program https://t.co/aHrKLbfBeR pic.twitter.com/0NlTFLRYrC
— delthia ricks 🔬 (@DelthiaRicks) September 18, 2022
Mortality isn’t the only relevant metric for the pandemic’s damage, but it remains the case that US elevated mortality is being primarily driven by under-vaccination among seniors. https://t.co/NC7EKp3mab
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 19, 2022
I’m not sure the lesson is “polio is over, so why did they make us get that stupid polio vaccine?”
— Patrick Chovanec (@prchovanec) September 19, 2022