The White House coronavirus consultant supports the continued use of masks inside
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The White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr Ashish Jha advocates continued use of the masks while indoors as cases continue to increase.
“I agree with Mayor Adams that when you are in an enclosed space, you should wear a mask,” Jha said during an appearance on “This Week”. “I strongly feel that in crowded indoor spaces, in places with high transmission, people should do it.”
The United States survived a severe winter spike that recorded the highest level of infection with a seven-day moving average of around 800,000 cases. The level has dropped to a much more manageable number of cases in recent months, but May saw another rise, with the seven-day average peaking at over 100,000 for the first time since February.
Jha assumed his role in April and expressed support for stricter measures, such as an extension of the mandate of the travel mask.
But its main goal remains to improve access to vaccines, therapies and tests. He pointed out that the government remains concerned about the approximately 300 people a day who are still dying from COVID-19, referring to the seven-day moving average.
“The [tools] are the ones that work: vaccinations, therapies, testing, masking and improving indoor air quality, these are the main tools, “Jha said.” But the ongoing discussions we have as we look at the numbers and ask: Which of these tools are most important right now, which ones do we want to emphasize? “
Jha explained that the government is trying to prepare for “a variety of scenarios”, including a wave of new infections in the fall and winter and new variants that will continue to arise. One way to prepare for such events is to develop new generations of vaccines.
Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Berton said in early May the company remained “confident” that a variant-specific vaccine will receive approval by the fall of 2022.
Jha argued that without such a vaccine, a new wave of infections in the fall would prove dangerous.
“One of the reasons I’ve talked a lot about the need for Congress to step up and fund this effort is that if they don’t, we’ll go in the fall and winter,” Jha said. “Without that next generation of vaccines, without treatments and diagnoses, it will be much, much harder for us to care for and protect Americans.”