COVID Update: When cases drop, we should rejoice. But in other circles, it’s when trouble begins. And as often happens, it’s beginning in Texas. 1/
Last time cases were dropping, Gov Ron DeSantis felt the time was right to get cocky. To tell the world that he wasn’t about to allow the state to fall victim to “Faucism.” Instead he was for freedom.

What did that mean?

What did this mean?

-Boats can’t dock if they ask people if their vaccinated
-Schools can’t require masks
-Why vaccinate when you can treat sick people?

Ultimately it meant the plurality of people who died this year in the US died under his watch in Florida. 3/
We know how that turned out for Florida. Full hospitals. Full pediatric hospitals. Thousands dying.

DeSantis bragging about how Florida has done it better than everyone toned down for a bit. If only having him shut up was enough of a saving grace for the misery he created. 4/
Speaking of not shutting up, it’s Texas’s turn to overreact to its reduction in cases.

This week governor Abbott predictably but strangely decided he is not going to allow anyone in the state to require people get vaccinated— the one thing that saves lives. 5/
Texas has lost 68,000 people to COVID.

3,800 people died last year in Texas in car accidents.

Yet for whatever strange reason, Abbott doesn’t seem to be bothered by the Federal requirement on seatbelts. 6/
During storms where 10s of people lose their lives, Abbott orders people to leave their homes so they don’t die. (Talk about government overreach.)

But there’s something different about COVID apparently. 7/
Seat belt requirements are ok.
Auto insurance requirements are ok.
Measles vaccines are ok.
Fire insurance requirements are ok.

None of these things save as many lives as COVID vaccines.

States and schools can require lots of things. But not a COVID vaccine. 8/
To say nothing of a woman’s choice over her own body, Texas restricts people’s freedom in lots of ways. Every day.

So what’s Abbott’s obsession with not preventing people from getting COVID? 10/
Of course Texas is the state with the highest uninsured rate in the nation.

Abbott & Texas turned down billions of dollars of Federal money to provide Medicaid insurance to millions. 11/
There’s a theme here. And simply stated, Abbott doesn’t seem to care if people in Texas get health care & stay alive.

In the case of COVID & Medicaid, it’s not about money. Both are entirely free to the state and to people. 12/
Despite cases dropping, COVID remains a threat. With Delta, COVID is the most rapidly spreading respiratory illness possibly of all time.

What leaves quickly can come back quickly. 13/
But for COVID to be dangerous, it requires the humans. Where it can replicate, where people aren’t vaccinated, COVID spreads fast.

With humans spreading it, COVID can grow fast.
With politicians like Abbott, COVID can thrive. end/

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More from @ASlavitt

11 Oct
COVID Update: COVID has been defined by its unpredictability. But what happens next is as predictable as it’s ever been.

Our job now is to beat away any potential surprises. 1/
1. Case & death rates should decline in much of the country & most hospitals should get a reprieve.

Danger areas will be in rural areas in the Upper Midwest & Great Plaines. 2/
The hard way or the easy way…

Big states like Texas and Florida have seen their surge & our thankfully recovering.

The Northeast & California have high levels of vaccinations. Those states should have low levels of COVID relative to last winter. 3/
Read 21 tweets
2 Oct
COVID Update: 700,000 lives lost and a nation’s soul damaged to COVID. 1/
We are going through a period of extended trauma. We witnessed it all. Denial of science, a health system marked by neglect, massive disparities between rich & poor and black & white, cruelty & bullying, unmourned losses.

And then COVID happened. 2/
Our accumulated sins which have played out slowly and in shadows over many years got to be seen in high speed as the pandemic fished out suffering both cruel & levied at the many who had a harder time protecting themselves. 3/
Read 17 tweets
1 Oct
COVID Update: First data from an oral at-home anti-viral from Merck are in.

50% reduction in hospitalizations. Trial halted, EUA on the way. 1/
Game changer for COVID-19.

Will be able to be taken orally either post diagnosis or even after routine exposure. 2/
Added protection for some:
-breakthrough cases
-health care workers

Real potential for:
-countries/areas w low vaccine access or acceptance
Read 8 tweets
28 Sep
COVID Update: When vaccine requirements are announced, whether in the military, a company, or a hospital, there is attention paid to the often dozen(s) who protest.

Less attention is paid to the thousands who get vaccinated. 1/
The story is told over & over.

Hospitals in Texas and Oregon had protests & lawsuits from staff when they announced vaccine requirements early this year.

Yet a much larger a number became vaccinated. 2/
The US military, at one point 50% vaccinated, is now at 90%.

Most NCAA teams are now between 85% & 100%. The NFL 94%.

A slew of early companies who put in requirements are now at 90%. 3/
Read 19 tweets
27 Sep
COVID Update: Vaccines wane because they’re supposed to.

Millions won’t access the vaccine & billions can’t. That’s a bigger problem.

Report from talking to 3 scientists about what we’ve recently learned and what it means. 1/
The worst is not behind us. Thousands are dying each day in the US and in Africa & many remote areas of the world, they remain highly vulnerable.

Until the global situation is made top priority & the US population does better, we remain vulnerable to ongoing suffering.2/
A powerful variant upended 2021 & falling short of our vaccination goals in 2021 could preview the same challenge for 2022. 3/
Read 25 tweets
22 Sep
BREAKING: FDA approves Pfizer vaccine booster for people over 65 and those at risk of serious illness.

More here in a minute.

First, you can listen to FDA Commissioner explain how she considered this decision on @inthebubblepod. 2/
What will happen next is Thursday the CDC advisory committee tomorrow will meet to make specific recommendations on how to implement this approval. Then Th or Friday, Dr Walensky will make a final decision.

They will do a few things. 3/
Read 8 tweets

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