Do not anticipate U.S. to comply with Europe with new COVID lockdowns
Don’t expect the US to lockdown again, although some European countries are re-introducing strict COVID-19 restrictions amid a surge in new cases.
“We’re not moving in that direction,” said Jeff Zients, White House coronavirus response coordinator, at a press conference Monday. “We can contain the spread of the virus without having to shut down our economy in any way. We now have 82% of people vaccinated and more and more people are vaccinated every week. “
That vaccination rate is even higher for government employees who had a deadline on Monday to get their vaccinations.
“Before the deadline this evening, the federal government complied with 95% of the regulations and 90% of the 3.5 million federal employees have already been vaccinated,” said Zients. (Five percent submitted exemption requests for religious or medical reasons that have either been approved or are pending.)
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that White House staff were 99% vaccinated.
Overall, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 74% of Americans have had at least one vaccination over 5 years of age, while 63% are fully vaccinated. The 82% figure quoted by Zients relates to adults over 18 with at least one syringe.
“This is under our control,” said Zients, adding, “we need to use the tools we have” – vaccinations, boosters, and antibody treatments – “to keep people safe without going backwards in any way, shape, or form . “
New COVID-10 cases are on the rise in the US, but Europe is currently the hotbed for new infections, with Austria introducing a national lockdown on Monday and the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland and Croatia imposing new restrictions.
Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn warned on Monday that “pretty much everyone in Germany … will be vaccinated, cured or dead” by the end of winter.
The high rate of infection in certain parts of the United States from previous waves of COVID could actually help somewhat, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday.
“If you look at the overall immunity in the German population, it is probably lower than in the US,” said Gottlieb, a Pfizer Inc. PFE, +0.79% board member, in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”.
“I am not saying that we cannot spread here … But I think we are currently in a certain different situation than Germany because we have gone through many previous waves of infections and Germany has controlled the infection in such a way that” better in the previous waves “Said Gottlieb. “Now the delta load is getting out of control there.”