El-Sayed comments on new COVID variants

July 18, 2022 What a Day

As cases of COVID continue to increase with the new Omicron sub-variant called BA.5, Ford School Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence Abdul El-Sayed told the "What a Day" podcast that public health officials are worried about a potential surge in cases, and a new variant, in the autumn.

"We know that COVID is a seasonal disease, and we’ve had spikes every single fall since the pandemic started. And we also know that this virus is evolving extremely quickly... so we don’t know what variant we’ll be dealing with this fall. So the big question right now that worries a lot of public health officials is, what would it mean to get to the fall with cases as high as they already are? And that’s exactly what we’re trying to respond to," he said, adding, "I get it and I’m tired of this, but we’ve always known that we don’t get to dictate when this pandemic ends. That’s a matter for the virus, in effect, to decide. The good news here, though, is that we’re not in 2020 anymore. We have safe and effective vaccines. We have treatments that prevent 90% of hospitalizations. And we know everything that we need to do to protect ourselves from this virus."