Covid virus CDC

“Earlier this week, President Joe Biden seemed to commit one of his trademark gaffes by saying ‘The pandemic is over,’” Faye Flam writes over at The Washington Post. “The backlash was swift. That’s understandable, given that hundreds of people are still dying from Covid every day. But President Biden may be doing what comes naturally to many of us — judging the situation by our own experiences. To truly understand where we are in the Covid pandemic, we need to be able to answer an essential question: Who are the 400-500 people who are still dying from this disease each day and what could be done to prevent these deaths? It’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California, asked people not to be ‘numb’ to these numbers on his popular Twitter feed, and people responded by asking the same questions I’ve been posing to experts for weeks. Who is dying in late 2022? Is it nursing home residents? Anti-vaxxers? Essential workers? How many of them have had the vaccine? Boosters? Did we fail them, or did they fail to take care of themselves? When I asked the CDC for relevant statistics, they sent me a widely circulated graph which showed the rates of death were much lower for vaccinated people. But without raw numbers on these deaths, it’s still hard to know why the death toll has plateaued at such a high level.In the same interview in which Biden remarked that the pandemic was over, the president also said that people seemed to be ‘in pretty good shape.’ That’s a common perception, because most people who get Covid do recover and go on with life. Michael Osterholm, who is director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, acknowledged as much on a recent episode of his podcast. Most people are not at high risk of death from Covid, he said, ‘and yet people are dying … What is it that makes people vulnerable to serious illness? Who is it that’s ending up in our ICUs? We don’t know. Our public health information systems are not providing us that kind of data.’” Faye Flam, “Who Is Still Dying From Covid? The CDC Can’t Answer That,” The Washington Post.

Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...