(RepublicanInformer.com)- The United States eclipsed yet another dubious coronavirus “milestone” Monday, surpassing 6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 183,000 deaths attributable to the virus in the U.S. as well.
Despite these horrid numbers, there is some good news. The director of the Harvard Global Health Institute Dr. Ashish Jha, explained:
“As a nation, we are clearly doing better now on the last day of August than we were on the first day of August. (Daily) cases have come down. Deaths are starting to decline. Hospitalizations are down. This is good news, and it’s largely because of smart policies in Texas and Arizona and Florida around masking and closing bars.
“But there are still parts of the country where things are both bad and even getting worse. In the Dakotas, in Kansas and other states, we still see a lot of cases. And as a nation, we’re still seeing a lot of cases of coronavirus. So progress, but we have a long way to go.”
Part of that “long way to go” is making sure that people are wearing masks both indoors and outdoors when they are unable to social distance. This will be especially crucial as colder months arrive and more people flock indoors, according to Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator.
She said on Monday:
“We know we can’t always be perfect. We know that we’ll put this message out about private gatherings and something will happen and you’ll realize you have been in a situation, you’ve been around people, you didn’t have your mask on.
“That is the time to make sure you’re protecting others in your household and around you by wearing a mask when you’re around them, even if they’re family.
“Right now, we gain freedom through wearing our masks and socially distancing.”
Even though the Food and Drug Administration may consider approving a COVID-19 vaccine before its Phase 3 trials have completed, there’s no guarantee they will do so. And if they do, there’s no guarantee a majority of Americans would even be willing to take it, considering the circumstances.
Two other vaccines that are undergoing Phase 3 clinical trials in the U.S. probably won’t be available to the public until at least early next year — if all goes well, of course.
Whenever a vaccine is ready for approval, it will go through the same stringent process as any other vaccine. As the deputy chief of staff for policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Paul Mango, explained:
“There is a thing called a Data Safety Monitoring Board, an independent body that is assigned to each clinical trial. We have no insight into the data until the DSMB says we can look at it.
“They can come back and say, ‘This is not a good vaccine.’ They could come back before we even have 30,000 folks enrolled and say, ‘We have enough. This looks great.'”