5 Musts To Achieve Covid-19 Independence – Forbes

by | Jul 2, 2022 | COVID-19

Far from cause for celebration, this 4th of July marks the 6th wave of Covid-19, with BA.4 and BA.5 variants leading the parade. As one variant of concern follows another, the world remains in a state of disarray as disarrayed researchers and governments chase the virus in a seemingly unending game of whack-a-mole. Each new variant of concern is either more easily transmissible (as with BA.4 and BA.5), better at evading acquired immune protection from previous acute infection or vaccination, and/or more virulent.The June 28th meeting of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, VRBPAC meeting was emblematic of the system’s disarray. The panel’s mission was to decide whether to approve a new booster (hopefully, available by this fall) to provide protection against the latest variants of concern. The group recommended the booster by a 19 to 2 vote margin based on data demonstrating no reduction in, much less protection from, BA.4/BA.5 transmissibility.

July 4th. USA flag and medical mask on blue background. Independence Day Of America 2020 during … [+] coronavirus covid-19 pandemic quarantine. Flat lay, top view, template.

Acting Chair, Dr. Arnold Monto argued that this action was necessary because Covid-19 is “a virus that doesn’t follow the rules.” Dr. Monto seems to be ignoring the fact that the virus is following the rules – its own. Such thinking marries the hubris of continuing our, at best, anemic past response to the pandemic (which has been reactive instead of proactive) with denial of the fact that other strategies must be developed if we hope to get ahead of the pandemic.

Over the last 30-months, our incomplete understanding of how the SARS-CoV-2 virus works as well as the many weaknesses of our healthcare pandemic response have become manifest. While one cannot change the past, it is possible to acknowledge what has not worked, refocus, and take actions to correct multiple disconnects if we are to reverse direction toward a healthier tomorrow.

Here are 5 issues we must address if we are to get off of this dangerous and descending route:
1. Our Understanding Of Covid-19 Is Still Rudimentary
Beyond the deaths of so many innocents, the continuing paucity of basic scientific information about the disease (as evinced by Dr. Monto’s statement on our understanding virus behavior) is still alarming. Today, too few researchers and critically less clinicians can stand up and give any serious discourse on what happens when viral infection begins and precisely how SARS-CoV2 damage is caused in the body. It should be evident by now that Covid-19 is not a respiratory disease, and we would be far better off acknowledging this as soon as possible. Of course, injury does occur in the airways and lungs but also widely throughout the blood vessels, with one of the virus’ primary damaging effects now known to be activation of …

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