Public health expert Dr. Ashish Jha argued Friday that “of all the things” former President Donald Trump’s administration got wrong, its prioritization of Americans receiving the COVID-19 vaccine “may be the most wrong they were” about the health crisis and could ultimately contribute to an “endless pandemic.”
“This idea that you could live in a kind of an isolationist world. It doesn’t work, we are way far away from being able to vaccinate the world,” Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.
The bottom line is, imagine a world where America is vaccinated but there are large outbreaks happening elsewhere. We can see the rise of variants that will escape our vaccines and make our entire population vulnerable again. And we would have to lockdown again, we would have to build new vaccines and revaccinate people, and we would have this sort of endless pandemic.
“We all want to avoid that and the best way to avoid it is to focus on vaccinating everybody around the world,” Jha added.
Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, earlier this week warned the U.S. is entering its “darkest” weeks of the pandemic because of the spread of more contagious variants of the virus that have emerged worldwide.
COVID-19 has now killed more than 436,000 people in the U.S. alone.
Globally, it has claimed 2.2 million lives.
Watch the interview here:
A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus
- Is it safe to see people who have gotten the coronavirus vaccine?
- What it means if your partner tests positive for COVID-19 but you don’t.
- How worried should you be about the new strains of coronavirus?
- The unexpected challenges of co-parenting during a pandemic.
- 19 things we took for granted pre-pandemic but now miss.
- Find all that and more on our coronavirus hub page.
As COVID-19 cases rise, it’s more important than ever to remain connected and informed. Join the HuffPost community today. (It’s free!)