With December on track to be the deadliest month for the virus since the outbreak began (more than 63K people have died in the US so far this month), Dr. Fauci and others have been in the press constantly warning that the situation is on track to worsen in January and February.
And on Monday, he was joined by Dr. Celine Gounder, a clinical assistant professor of medicine and infectious diseases at NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine and member of Biden’s COVID task force, who reiterated Dr. Fauci’s warnings about already-overwhelmed hospitals being poorly equipped to handle the next wave of patients.
But while the MSM focused on remarks about President Biden likely invoking the Defense Production Act to try to ensure the US catches up to its lofty vaccination targets (we’re already about 18MM behind the OWS target of 20MM doses by year’s-end), Dr. Gounder added an off-hand line about the need for using “genomic surveillance” to track mutations like the B.1.1.7 mutated “variant” that has been making headlines for the past week or so.
“We’re also going to see an increase in genomic surveillance which is where you track the changes in…virus genetic materials…we can do that…we have the technology…we just chose not to spend the money on public health surveillance…”
Offering up some math to demonstrate why the US needs to dramatically ramp up the pace of vaccinations if it wants to reach whatever the new herd immunity threshold is, Dr. Gounder insisted there is “no question” about another surge due to the number of people traveling during the holiday.