Local doctors react to President Biden’s comments saying the pandemic is over
Doctors 11 News spoke with say the sub-variants of the coronavirus are still a problem. Doctors say there are just too many unknowns about it, including variants of COVID that have not been discovered yet and the arrival of the next potential surge.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Doctors across Colorado are responding to President Joe Biden’s message in a “60 Minutes” interview where he stated the pandemic was done.
”The pandemic is over,” said Biden. “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it, but the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape, so I think it’s changing, and I think this is a perfect example of it.”
Doctors from UCHealth, Matthews-Vu Medical Group, El Paso County Health Department and the state health department tell 11 News it is too early to call off a pandemic. The doctors say cases and hospitalizations are lower now than they have ever been, but COVID continues to be a concern.
Doctors say it is especially important to know the differences between a pandemic, endemic and epidemic. A pandemic, which is what we’ve been in since 2020, is an outbreak of a disease in countries. An endemic is an outbreak of a disease at a higher level than expected. The flu is the perfect example of this. An epidemic is something that surges out of the blue. This includes monkeypox.
Doctors 11 News spoke with say COVID is still a concern because there is still a lot of unknowns about it.
“It is an unknown virus even though we know more about it now but there’s still so many things that we may not know,” said Dr. Richard Vu, physician with Matthews-Vu Medical Group. “We don’t know what the future of the virus is going to look like. Hopefully it will be not as bad as two or three years ago.”
Doctors 11 News spoke with also say the sub-variants of the coronavirus are still a problem. Doctors say there are just too many unknowns about it, including variants of COVID that have not been discovered yet and the arrival of the next potential surge.
According to the Colorado COVID-19 State Dashboard, data shows cases in El Paso County average at 108 a week. There have been 28 hospitalizations and one reported death. In 2021, new cases averaged about 312 per week this time last year.
Doctors tell 11 News cases and hospitalizations are low right now but this is not permanent. They say those who are not vaccinated are continuing to be at the highest risk.
“COVID-19 is still very present as a cause of illness in our community,” said Dr. Bernadette Albanese, co-medical director for El Paso County Public Health. “It’s still impacting older adults. It’s still impacting people with chronic health conditions. They can still make a very healthy person feel terrible and have significant symptoms. COVID-19 is still a very important public health disease and we encourage the public to be attentive, to be careful and do everything you can to protect yourself.”
Doctors tell 11 News the best way to combat this virus is vaccinations and boosters. The latest approved booster is available now. Anyone over the age of 12 is eligible for Pfizer and anyone over the age of 18 for Moderna.
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