Don’t expect US to follow Europe with new COVID lockdown

Don’t expect the US to lock down again, although some European countries are reimposing tough COVID-19 restrictions amid a surge in new cases.

“We’re not going in that direction,” White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zient said Monday at a news conference. “We can limit the spread of the virus without shutting down our economy in any way. We now have 82% of people getting one shot, and more and more people are getting it every week. ”

That vaccination rate is even higher among government workers, who face a Monday deadline to get vaccinated.

“By tonight’s deadline, the federal government has achieved 95% compliance and 90% of the 3.5 million federal workers have been vaccinated,” Zient said. (Five percent have submitted a request for a religious or medical waiver that has been approved or is pending.)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that White House staffers are 99% vaccinated.

Overall, about 74% of Americans over the age of 5 have received at least one shot, while 63% are fully immunized, according to the latest figures. data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 82% figure cited by Zient refers to adults over the age of 18 with at least one injection.

“This is within our control,” Zient said, adding that “we need to use the tools we have” – vaccines, boosters and antibody treatments – “to keep people safe without going back in any way.”

New COVID-10 cases are on the rise in the United States, but Europe is currently a hotbed of new infections, with Austria instituted a national lockdown on Monday and the Netherlands, BelgiumDenmark, Italy, Switzerland and Croatia impose new restrictions.

Germany’s Health Minister, Jens Spahn, issued an ominous warning Monday that at the end of winter, “Most people in Germany … will be vaccinated, cured or die.”

High infection rates in some parts of the US from previous COVID episodes may actually help somewhat, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday.

“When you look at total immunity in the German population, it might be lower than in the US,” said Gottlieb, a Pfizer Inc.
+ 0.79%

board member, said in an interview on CNBC “Squawk Box.”

“I’m not saying we can’t spread it here… But I think we’re in a certain situation right now that’s different from Germany because we’ve suffered a lot of infections before and Germany has infection control to a better extent than in previous waves,” Gottlieb said. “Now, plain tension is getting out of control there.” Don’t expect US to follow Europe with new COVID lockdown


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