Andy Slavitt 🇺🇸💉 Profile picture
Former Biden White House Sr Advisor for COVID Response, past head of Medicare/Medicaid for Obama/Biden. Author “Preventable” and host: @inthebubblepod
Barbara Lasser Profile picture SocialMediaWarriorForABlueAmerica Profile picture Bill Jackson III 🖥 🦅🌊🗽 🇺🇸 Profile picture BrakTalk Lenny Marlow Profile picture 492 added to My Authors
30 Jul
COVID Update: An internal document from CDC shows Delta is a whole “new war.”

First real estimates of spread & breakthrough cases. And a clear sense of why CDC policies are changing.

More here soon. 1/
Point 1: Vaccines work. They dramatically reduce the risk of cases (8x) & even more so serious cases (25x). But they don’t work perfectly.

With 165 million fully vaccinated people, they estimate 7,000 breakthroughs/day. 2/ Image
A thorough discussion of breakthrough cases & vaccine efficacy is here in this discussion with what Pfizer sees in the data. Worth listening to to understand. 3/
Read 19 tweets
29 Jul
COVID Update: What did President Biden announce today and why.

The story. Follow if interested here. 1/
President Biden’s announcement today that federal workforces and on-site contractors must demonstrate that they are not infectious is as much about ensuring safe workplaces as it is driving up vaccinations. 2/
The federal workforce, over 2 million civilians, serves the public. And his commitment to keep them safe while they do that is one of his commitments as a leader. 3/
Read 19 tweets
28 Jul
As of this week, the dam is beginning to break publicly so I will comment. Google just announced a vaccination requirement, the VA has, CA has, NY has and others are on the path.

Including Biden publicly commenting that this is being considered 4 all federal ees & contractors.2/
Let me step back cover something:

First, what are we talking about here?

We’re talking about safe workplaces.

What we’re not talking about?

Violating anybody’s individual liberties. 3/
No one is requiring anyone to get vaccinated. What these leaders are doing is requiring people to demonstrate they are not contagious.

Either by getting vaccinated or by showing a negative test result several times/week. 4/
Read 11 tweets
27 Jul
COVID UPDATE: CDC is revising its mask guidance today.

Been gathering info before the announcement and will cover below. Follow if interested?
The new guidance will recommend that vaccinated people in higher risk areas wear masks in higher risk areas. 2/
As with almost every change in guidance, some people will think this is too slow to come; some will think it’s too fast a change & backtracking.

While criticism will be constant (& the lifeblood of Twitter), none of that is the way I think about it. 3/
Read 12 tweets
26 Jul
COVID Update: Is there evidence of the vaccine’s immunity waning? What does new data showing lower efficacy in Israel mean? 1/
Several weeks ago reports started coming out of Israel, the first country to drive widespread vaccination, that the vaccines were showing lower efficacy against moderate symptomatic COVID. (Against severe COVID, the vaccine is still highly protective with a slight dropoff.) 2/
A more recent study made public late last week showed lower efficacy still among the same group at 39% and severe COVID at closer to 90%, also a drop, though more modest. 3/
Read 21 tweets
23 Jul
COVID UPDATE: What’s changed and what’s stated the same since I wrote the tweet that said vaccinated people have far greater things to worry about then the Delta variant?

And what would I say now? 1/
Let’s look at what’s changed?

We have significant growth in cases. So far those are largely among unvaccinated people. And serious cases are almost entirely among unvaccinated people. 2/
There are areas of the country where there are low vaccination levels that are experiencing the largest growth in cases? Hospitalizations are following.

While we can’t say for sure, the death rates look to be dramatically lower given vaccination protection in the elderly. 3/
Read 22 tweets
16 Jul
COVID Update: In most countries, the greatest threat are variants & the lack of vaccines.

In the US it’s different. Very different. 1/
Vaccines are broadly available in the US. To understand the significance of this, you need to talk to people in other countries.

I’ve spent much of the week talking to officials & media in Australia. Oh how they wish they were in the US. 2/
Australia didn’t buy enough vaccines and the one they bought has run into problems. They are low vaccinated & not likely to get vaccines until September. Cases are rising & they’re on lockdown.

Rough winter for them. (They believe winter is in July for some reason). 3/
Read 10 tweets
10 Jul
COVID Update July 10, 2021: 2021 will be the year of the Unvaccinated Pandemic.

Vaccinated or not, there are implications for all of us. 1/
The most tragic toll will be in the countries that have not done mass vaccinations yet.

India, Australia, Bangladesh, E Asia, Africa— places that dodged COVID in 2020 and either couldn’t afford or didn’t make an effort to procure vaccines will pay the highest toll. 2/
In the US, we were racing against Alpha & largely beat it. But imagine if we had not. A new study from Yale points to 100s of thousands of lives saved & millions of hospitalizations by having vaccines beat alpha. 3/…
Read 25 tweets
9 Jul
NEW: The CDC issues guidance on masking in K-12 schools for the Fall.

Vaccinated children do not need to wear masks; unvaccinated kids should per the guidance.

I know this raises questions & is a hot topic so I will hit a few points. 1/
It helps to begin with what CDC guidance is and what it isn’t. It provides the best recommendation based on the science but allows states, schools & individuals in some cases to weigh other factors. 2/
For example, CDC doesn’t set out to address the question of how to tell who’s vaccinated & who isn’t. Or other factors like school ventilation & desk configuration— all of which the speak about as “layers” of protection. 3/
Read 8 tweets
9 Jul
COVID Update: I deeply regret that we live in a world where I have to respond to Marjorie Taylor Greene.

But alas… 1/
Greene is now comparing Biden’s vaccination program to her new favorite topic: yes, Naziism.

The latest chapter in her Holocaust education fetish is not encouraging.

Cc: @HolocaustMuseum 2/
No one is in danger of asking Greene to teach a history class (or a public health class) (with the exception of Texas) anytime soon.

But she did learn one lesson well from the Nazis: dangerous propoganda. 3/
Read 11 tweets
8 Jul
NEWS: Pfizer to submit application for COVID specific booster to FDA. More here shortly.

Follow here if interested.
Having had a few conversations with the company and others about this, here is what I know. 2/
The first question is whether a booster will be needed and Pfizer believes that there is a significant boast in immunity if a third shot is given after 6 months.

This may be particularly useful among older people who are immunity wane faster. 3/
Read 13 tweets
6 Jul
COVID Update: A strategy I deploy & recommend when there’s a new study, particularly with explosive headlines about COVID.

It’s the same strategy I deployed last year when reading about how promising the vaccine trials were.

Wait it out a bit. 1/
We are all subject to that sinking feeling of seeing the headline:

“Study shows variant gains strength”
“Do the vaccines work against Lambda?”
“Breakthrough cases increase.”

Makes your ❤️ drop. None of us wants to relive the last year & that often flashes through our minds. 2/
There’s no doubt that these can be upsetting to see. In our minds, we want to compartmentalize COVID as either a threat or not a threat & it’s confusing to feel in between. 3/
Read 16 tweets
6 Jul
COVID Update: There is potentially news out of Israel worth paying attention to.

One implication is when it makes sense to boost again in the US. 1/
Some very preliminary data shows a reduction in vaccine efficacy to mild disease— potentially somewhere between 60-80% (still >90% vs serious). 2/
Does this mean Delta is evading vaccines more than we thought? Data on the vaccines v Delta is still quite solid & this could be an outlier.

But if the data hold, the most likely conclusion is not that Delta is escaping the vaccine. It’s closer to the opposite. 3/
Read 11 tweets
4 Jul
COVID Update 7/4/21: Today is the day early in the Biden Administration where the president hoped Americans would be able to gather in small groups again after 18 months.

The odds did not seem good back then & many were skeptical but we were motivated by what we couldn’t see. 1/
It’s almost hard to remember what a shit show (sorry) it was 6 months ago. No vaccines in inventory, no appointments, bizarre rules to qualify, not enough places or vaccinators. And only 40% said they would take a shot if they could get one. 2/
When we got there, the public had been told 100 million would be vaccinated by the end of January. No one trusted a thing they heard.

I was asked to speak to the public on a regular basis. Biden had one expectation. Tell people the truth, whether the news was good or bad. 3/
Read 18 tweets
1 Jul
1/ COVID Update: Summer 2021 and the Delta variant, mask wearing and “following the science.”
2/ That phrase “following the science.” What does it mean?

It means relying on the data
It means using the best judgment we have at the time
It is useful that help us assess risk, not provide guarantees

What doesn’t it mean?
3/ It doesn’t mean:

Providing us certainty when none exists
Saying there is zero risk
That there won’t be adjustments as more is learned
Read 14 tweets
24 Jun
I want to talk about the Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill & what it means.

Some will say this bill represents “only 2/3” of the American Jobs Act proposals. Yes it reflect compromise.

What do we get in exchange for that compromise? So much.
Big picture:
1-This is the first infrastructure bill in years. It has always theoretically been of interest to both parties but no one could get it done.
2- This is a show of strength for a functional democracy when we badly need it.
3- There is more that can be done as needed.
In substance:
This is the most significant investment in green technology in history:
-A national electric of 500,000 vehicle charging stations including rural communities
-largest federal investment in public transit & passenger rail in history
Read 7 tweets
24 Jun
I want to reflect on a simple conversation I overheard. It reminds me that this last period of time has been so hard for so many. And we are still on edge because the crisis was so unexpected & the diminishment of risk feels so uncertain and so many people are still at risk.
This week @askdrfitz asked a man (Richard) at federal vaccination center what he planned to do now that he was vaccinated for an upcoming @inthebubblepod.
Richard has worked in food services his whole life. He thought before answering her & said maybe he would find a way to go part time.

When asked why he said “You know I have some deferred dreams.”
Read 8 tweets
29 Mar
Know a person who hasn’t made up their mind yet on getting vaccinated.

Why get vaccinated in 4 slides of data.
1. COVID-19 is far worse than the flu in the number of severe and critical cases. Even if you are part of the 1/3 without symptoms, you help the virus find people in the yellow & red bars.
2. The clinical outcomes from COVID-19 can effect you or those you inadvertently infect in so many different ways.
Read 5 tweets
6 Mar
COVID Update March 5, 2021: I haven’t done this in a long time for good reason.

I am tonight.
People have been texting me with their experiences getting vaccinated and with their permission I will share some of the messages & photos.

Because wow.
Read 12 tweets
12 Feb
COVID cases are down in the US, but still more than TWICE as high as the next highest country.

Our challenges are far from over. Neither good news nor bad news should be considered lasting.
Fighting a new rise in cases if one arrives will go dramatically different depending on our starting point.

Fighting new cases from a low point is like fighting a rabid dog. From a high point, it’s like fighting packs of rabid dogs. The same weapons don’t work.
Even with the promising news yesterday that we have vaccines on the way between now and the end of July for 300 million, challenges remain.

We can anticipate more loss of life but must minimize it by pulling together & doing simple things.
Read 4 tweets
15 Jan
COVID Update January 14: My last nightly thread for a while.

What I want to say is it’s not time for despair. It’s time to fix things and move our country forward. 1/
There was a point in time in this pandemic when we didn’t know up from down.

There was a time when people in charge were describing up as down. 2/
We’ve seen the worst of the worst. We’ve been through hell and we’re not done. We’ve lost things that can’t be regained. We alternate between fear, anger, loss of hope, and occasional real glimpses of life.

But we are surviving and we are remembering. 3/
Read 19 tweets