Perhaps CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has no sense of irony. We recently passed the 500th day to slow the spread, which, as we all know, started with 15 days to slow the spread in March of 2020. Now, Walensky is saying that if we all put on a face diaper and get the jab, we can defeat the Delta variant in a few weeks:
“We can halt the chain of transmission,” Walensky told “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday. “We can do something if we unify together, if we get people vaccinated who are not yet vaccinated, if we mask in the interim, we can halt this in just a matter of a couple of weeks.”
I love how Walensky constantly says things that her own agency’s website does not support. The CDC will not consider any American who receives the vaccination today “fully vaccinated” for two weeks. That is, if they can find the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at all. If they receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, full efficacy is not reached for 35 and 42 days, respectively. That is well beyond a couple of weeks.
In fact, after two weeks, people vaccinated today will not receive their second dose for three weeks with Pfizer and four weeks with Moderna. Clinical trials placed single-dose effectiveness after 13 days at 52%, and a study in Israel found it was 57% effective in preventing symptomatic illness. The FDA puts efficacy against symptomatic infection between 29.5% and 84.5% because there was not much circulating virus at the time of the trial.
And about that two-week timeframe. It just might be that Walensky is being informed by the experience of a similar country. The United Kingdom started a sustained increase in the number of daily cases around June 3, 2021. They reached their peak on July 16 and have shown a sharp decline since. The United States started a sustained increase on July 3, 2021.
Using the UK as a guide, we could expect to turn the corner and start to decline in, wait for it, about two weeks. Dr. Scott Gottlieb has said publicly he believes this wave will be over by some point in September. So, it would be great for Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to get his underling Walensky in line for the next month. Then he should tell President Biden to stop talking about COVID-19 as if it is a death sentence.
The NIH has a recommended outpatient therapy called monoclonal antibodies, which seems to be about the only thing Dr. Anthony Fauci and dissenting doctors such as the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons agree on. There are formulations that have demonstrated effectiveness against the Delta variant. If Walensky and Fauci started talking about this treatment option, all the ridiculous cable news doctors would repeat it like the parrots they are.
In addition to encouraging people to get vaccinated if they want to, Walensky should be talking about the available outpatient treatment during every press conference and cable news appearance. The HHS has an entire website dedicated to helping patients and providers locate these treatments, which the agency distributes nationwide.
While no conservative was a fan of the confirmation of Dr. Rachel Levine as assistant secretary for health at HHS, I will have to give Levine credit here. This public service announcement sends the correct message, especially to the vaccine-hesitant.
"Together, we can beat this." Dr. Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health of The US Department of Health & Human Services explains the importance of accessibility to monoclonal antibody treatment for high-risk #COVID19 patients. Learn more at https://t.co/VGOun7BaVK #CombatCOVID
— Combat COVID (@Combat__COVID) July 21, 2021
The message is pitch-perfect, even if you are not a big fan of the messenger. Monoclonal antibodies have an “A” rating from the NIH and effectively prevent severe illness and death from COVID-19. They must be given within 10 days of symptom onset and can be accessed by doctors along with the expanded eligibility criteria through the Combat COVID website.
These treatments have testimonials from former patients, including President Trump, Dr. Drew Pinsky, and comedian Colin Quinn. Dr. Levine and HHS are providing excellent service to those at risk for severe COVID-19 by giving them hope and information that could save their lives should they become ill during this wave. It is far better than trying to scare the hell out of them like Walensky, Fauci, and the cadre of TV doctors are doing — or insulting them like President Biden does.