Freezers with cadavers outside hospitals are the reality of mitigation, not control, of the novel coronavirus. This is the view taken by a World Health Organization expert after White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the US would not control the virus but instead focus on containment strategies.
At a press conference on Monday, WHO experts were asked to comment on Meadows’ statement to CNN: “We will not contain the pandemic. We will control the fact that we will receive vaccines, therapeutics and other means to contain the pandemic”.
Meadows continued that these factors are necessary to ensure that people do not die from the virus, falsely claiming that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants to “quarantine the whole of America.
His remarks tie in with what the Trump administration has said, namely its approach of protecting the weak from the coronavirus while avoiding national lockdowns. In September, the president claimed that without a vaccine, the virus could disappear due to the controversial concept of herd immunity, which allows the germ to spread freely in a population while protecting the most vulnerable shield.
Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO’s Emergency Health Programme, said: “Mitigation is a very important thing,” but warned against “a complete lack of control.
Ryan said he put the word “mitigation” in quotation marks: “There were many places in the US and elsewhere that had great difficulty using the word “mitigation” in March and April when our emergency rooms were overcrowded and we rolled freezers into the backs of hospitals. This is the reality of mitigating a disease in the face of a tsunami of cases. One is no longer able to cope with the disease. That is the fear at the moment. I hope that we do not run out of this capacity.”
Ryan said that governments are trying to act quickly to ensure that they don’t run out of capacity by “trying to suppress the flames of this pandemic”. And that is the responsibility of all governments, no matter where they are”.
He went on to say that protecting the most vulnerable people was “a very worthy goal” and the main objective of WHO since the beginning of the epidemic.
But it is difficult because “the vast majority of vulnerable people among us live in multi-generational households,” Ryan said.
In the United States, about four out of ten adults over the age of 18, or 92.6 million people, are at risk for serious disease if they develop COVID-19 because of their age or an underlying health condition, such as diabetes or hypertension. Experts say that protecting those at risk without controlling the spread of the infection is a difficult task.
Ryan said: “The best way to protect these [susceptible]individuals is to do as much as possible to reduce community transmission of this disease. And by doing that, we will protect those in need of protection. And in this sense, we should not give up trying to suppress the transmission and control the transmission.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the WHO has stated that containment should be a last resort for countries to buy time to build the infrastructure needed to test, track and isolate coronavirus cases.
He acknowledged that this is difficult, especially in countries such as the USA, where the virus is highly prevalent. But he said that if each individual did their part to prevent the virus from spreading, including by wearing masks, avoiding crowded places, physical distance, frequent hand washing and isolation in case of illness, “strict confinement for long periods of time” would not be necessary.
The challenge is that not everyone accepts that this needs to be done because “they don’t believe we’re dealing with a pandemic,” Ryan said.
WHO Director Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the press conference that “it is dangerous to give up control”.
Dr Tedors said: “This virus is dangerous, if released unchecked it can wreak havoc, especially if we don’t have vaccines on hand.
Tekk.tv has asked the White House for a comment.