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Virus Expert Just Said COVID is Coming to These States

“We have an enormous amount of infections across the country,” said Dr. Jha.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

COVID cases are spreading in the Midwest, after huge spikes in the South. There are more than 150,000 cases a day. And ICUs are filled not just with adults in some states, but kids too, as the Delta variant is said to make people "sicker, quicker." Alarmed that not enough people are vaccinated, Dr. Ashish Jha,  a physician, health policy researcher, and the third Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, spoke with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this morning. Read on for six key takeaways from their conversation that could save your life—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.


Virus Expert Warns "We Have an Enormous Amount of Infections"

Medical staff work in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for COVID-19 multiple patients inside a hospital.

"We have an enormous amount of infections across the country," said Dr. Jha. "People getting sick, 1,500 Americans dying. This is all a vaccine preventable disease now, right? So none of this should be happening. That said, I do think we are peaking particularly early across the American south, where I see cases in Florida and Louisiana, Arkansas, starting to turn down, infection numbers are still rising in the Midwest and Great Plains in the Northeast, but at much slower rates, particularly in states that have high vaccination numbers."


Virus Expert Weighed in About New Spikes to Come

Patient in ambulance.

Experts are predicting a post Labor Day spike, due to travel and kids returning back to school. Will that happen? "I'm more optimistic that I don't think we're going to see a doubling or tripling of cases from where we are today," said Jha. "Look, we might see a bump in the next week, 10 days. We have after every major holiday, over the last year and a half. So I would not be surprised, but we have so many more tools now than we've ever had before. Certainly vaccines are one of them—more testing, mask squaring in key places. There's a lot we can do to prevent that kind of horrible surge that would have happened maybe last year, when we didn't have all these tools."

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Virus Expert Said Here's Who Will Need Boosters

Nurse with face mask sitting at home with senior woman and injecting covid 19 vaccine.

There is confusion about boosters. The President and his advisors announced they will be available September 20th. Yet that may only be for Pfizer. And maybe just for people with special needs. And maybe people should get them earlier than eight months after their last dose, if you'd believe data out of Israel. "One, it is clear to me that this is probably going to end up being a three shot vaccine package," said Jha. "And so the idea of a third shot is part of how you get fully vaccinated is something we're learning. And it's probably right, particularly for vulnerable people. So there's no doubt in my mind that people who are in nursing homes, people who are frail elders, people with chronic diseases, people with immunocompromised states, they need to be getting that third shot, probably about six months after their second shot. That's where the science and data is. No doubt we want the FDA to fully approve that. We want the CDC to approve it. We don't want to get ahead of the process, but the evidence for vulnerable people needing a third shot, I think is coming into focus at this point."

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Virus Expert Said Masks Work for Kids

Mother puts a safety mask on her son's face.

There is much debate about allowing masks in schools. "This is unnecessarily political and I don't really understand why it has become," said Jha. "What I say about kids and masking is that the evidence clearly leans towards the masking being helpful in preventing infections, preventing spread. It's not bomb proof. The evidence is strong, but not, I would say overwhelming. But the bottom line is that it should be part of a broader package—if you just do masking, probably not enough, but if we have testing in schools, if we improve ventilation, we get adults vaccinated. It is absolutely possible to get every child back to school, full time safely, this fall, we shouldn't be turning these things into political battles. We should be looking at the data and then driving policy."

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Virus Expert Said Your Cloth Mask is Not Enough

Young woman shows self-made face mask.

The Delta variant can get through your cloth mask. "Cloth masks unto themselves, generally not effective," said Jha. "That's why I think surgical masks are better. There are of course higher quality mass cloth masks, maybe 10 or 20% effective, not great against the Delta variant." "So you're saying this mask I've been wearing for a year, isn't really protecting me very much?" said Wallace. "I'm saying that, given the Delta variant that's out there, you probably need to upgrade your mask, Chris." Experts recommend an N95 or KN95 mask.

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Virus Expert Warned More Variants are to Come—So Get Vaccinated ASAP


There is a Mu variant that comes from Columbia; should we be worried? "What I think people need to know is we're going to see more variants and the reason we're going to see more variants is [this is] a global pandemic," said Jha. "And when large outbreaks are happening around the world, we're going to see more variants. And of course the best way to suppress it is to get the world vaccinated. I am not particularly worried about Mu or Lambda any of these yet—the data so far doesn't say they're going to escape our vaccines. It's obviously something we are concerned about. I think our vaccines are going to hold up, but we're going to have to pay attention to the data." As for yourself, get vaccinated ASAP and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek