CDC Director Just Issued This COVID Update
Dr. Mandy Cohen, Director of the Centers for Disease Control, speaks out.
In a recent update, Dr. Mandy Cohen, Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), sheds light on the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The prevailing variants, EG.5 and FL.1.5.1, along with the emergence of the new variant BA.2.86, have brought fresh challenges. Dr. Cohen emphasizes the need for continued vigilance, stating, "We are seeing hospitalizations go up…we are living with COVID." She urges the public to utilize the tools available – vaccines, testing, and treatment – to combat the virus. While cases and hospitalizations rise, she reassures that we have more tools at our disposal than ever before, including a new booster on the horizon. Read on to see how you can stay safe.
"We are seeing hospitalizations go up here, and…it's reminding us that we are living with COVID," she told Time. "It is not gone. And that means we need to continue to avail ourselves of the tools that protect us: vaccines, testing, and treatment. Luckily, we have more tools than ever before going into these next seasons. And we're going to have a new booster that comes out in the middle of September. So we have the tools, we just need to use them."
Cases and hospitalizing are rising. A few weeks ago, "About the current level—I'm not concerned right now. But we're going to continue to watch that. The highest number of hospitalizations we had last year was about 45,000, and [we have] about 10,000 right now. So we're much lower than we were at a peak last year. But we have to keep vigilant and make sure that we're using the tools to protect ourselves. So you're going hear us talk a lot about vaccines, testing, and treatment."
"COVID-19 has never really left us," Dr. Graham Snyder, medical direction of infection prevention and hospital epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, told ABC News. "There have been ups and downs throughout the pandemic…but with this uptick, we're seeing that steady churn pattern again where there's a mix of variants and the variants are constantly changing and reemerging." "But the disease itself — and, for the most part, the impact that the virus has on us — is much the same as it's been for the last year plus," he continued.
Dr. Cohen summed it up at a talk this week. "COVID is here with us. We're going to have to continue living with it," she said at a luncheon at downtown Atlanta's Commerce Club hosted by the Atlanta Press Club, according to Catoosa Walker News. "We have to use those tools we've built up over the last number of years. These viruses continue to change. We have to keep up with them….We still need to live our lives and enjoy ourselves. (But) we have to use the protections we have."
"A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel on Tuesday called for a broad use of the updated COVID-19 vaccines approved by the government – covering ages 6 months and up – paving the way for a broad use of the shots in a vaccination campaign due to begin within days," says Reuters. "In making the recommendation on a vote of 13-1 to CDC Director Mandy Cohen, the advisers embraced a wide use of the shots rather than aiming at specific populations at higher risk. They met a day after U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized updated COVID vaccines made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech as well as by Moderna. Novavax said the FDA was still reviewing its shot."
"When we ask Americans what is their No. 1 health concern, actually it is fentanyl," she told the Atlanta Press Club, says GPB. "Right, as a threat to their health. And so CDC obviously needs to respond to those kinds of threats."