COVID-19 update: Biden’s response

By Cole Garner
Editor in Chief

President Joe Biden speaks with House Democratic Leaders in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

            Over 500,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 as of Monday, Feb. 22, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. Additionally, various new strains of the virus have been popping up. A prominent strain to catch scientists’ attention was the U.K. variant, B.1.1.7. The variant was first found in September, when U.K. scientists warned that the variant proved itself to be more contagious than regular COVID-19 variants.

            A study by a team of U.K. scientists at the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases, last updated on Feb. 6, found that the variant is 43-82% more contagious than previous strains found.

            This does not mean that the strain is deadlier than other strains. In fact, the same study found no evidence that it is more deadly. The U.K. variant has now ended up in at least 21 states in theU.S., worrying scientists and leaders across the country.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis released a statement on Dec. 19, 2020 about the variant being found in the Centennial State.

            “The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and [the state] will closely monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely,” Polis said. (Colorado.gov)

            The U.K. variant is not the only strain. The Brazil P.1 variant, which is thought to be more transmissible than initial COVID-19 strains, has also been found in the U.S. The first known case of this strain was found in Minnesota on Jan. 25 of this year. The strain is similar to the U.K. variant, as it is more contagious but is not known to be more deadly.

            UMHB professor and nurse Dr. Lynn Heise says that the mutations are to be expected during a pandemic.

            “The people that were infected with [the original strain] looked a little bit different than the ones that are coming out now,” Dr. Heise said. “So those that are in Brazil and those that are in the U.K., they’re still the COVID virus, but they are mutated.”

            This is part of the reason why getting vaccinated is important for most people.

“They say right now that immunizations that we are receiving for COVID will cover the original [strain] as well as the mutations,” Dr. Heise said.

            “That doesn’t mean that because I have been vaccinated, if I have been exposed to COVID, I won’t get sick. It’s probable I will [get sick], but I won’t get as sick as if I had not [been vaccinated],” Heise said.

            President Joe Biden has a $1.9 trillion plan for a COVID response. When unveiling his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan on Jan. 14 from Delaware, President Biden said that the high number is vital to stimulating the economy and fighting the COVID-19 virus.

            “The crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight, and there’s not time to waste,” Biden said.

            The President’s plan aspires to create a way to implement a $15 minimum wage, increase tax credits, and expand paid leave for workers. The biggest highlights from the bill are a $1400 check for most Americans, $350 billion put aside for first responders, essential workers and small business grants, and another $130 billion to help keep schools safe while reopening across America, plus  $270 billion for vaccinations and testing.

            The American Hospital Association believes that herd immunity will not be reached by the summer, and until there are 1.8 million vaccines given per day.

This week, over 42 million doses of COVID vaccines have been administered, which have included both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. However, a little over 25 million of those are just single doses of the vaccines that require two doses to fully work.

            Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the company Johnson & Johnson has created a single-dose vaccine, which was just approved. The J&J website states that its vaccine is 66% effective against moderate and severe cases of the Coronavirus.

         A study by a team of UK scientists at the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases, last updated Feb. 6, found that the variant is 43-82% more contagious than previous strains found. This does not mean that the strain is deadlier than other strains. In fact, the same study found no evidence that it is more deadly. The UK variant has now ended up in at least 21 states in the US, worrying scientists and leaders across the country.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis released a statement on Dec 19, 2020 on the subject of the variant being found in the Centennial State.

        “The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and [the state] will closely monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely,” Polis said. (Colorado.gov)

         The UK variant is not the only strain that Americans should be aware of. The Brazil P.1 variant, which is thought to be more transmissible than initial COVID-19 strains, has also been found in the U.S. The first known case of this strain was found in Minnesota on Jan. 25 of this year. The strain is similar to the UK variant, as it is more contagious but is not known to be more deadly.

         UMHB professor and nurse Dr. Lynn Heise says that the mutations are to be expected during a pandemic.

        “The people that were infected with [the original strain] looked a little bit different than the ones that are coming out now,” Dr. Heise said. “So those that are in Brazil and those that are in the U.K., they’re still the COVID virus, but they are mutated.”

         This is part of the reason why getting vaccinated is important for most people.

         “They say right now that immunizations that we are receiving for COVID will cover the original [strain] as well as the mutations,” Dr. Heise said. “That doesn’t mean that because I have been vaccinated, if I have been exposed to COVID, I won’t get sick. It’s probable I will [get sick], but I won’t get sick as if I had not [been vaccinated].

         President Joe Biden has a $1.9 trillion plan for a COVID response. When unveiling his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan on Jan. 14 from Delaware, President Biden said that the high number is vital to stimulating the economy and fighting the COVID-19 virus.

         “The crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight, and there’s not time to waste,” Biden said.

         The President’s plan aspires to create a way to implement a $15 minimum wage, increase tax credits, and expand paid leave for workers. The biggest highlights from the bill are a $1400 check for most Americans, $350 billion put aside for first responders, essential workers and small business grants, and another $130 billion to help keep schools safe while reopening across America, plus  $270 billion for vaccinations and testing.

         The American Hospital Association believes that herd immunity will not be reached by the summer, and until there are 1.8 million vaccines given per day. This week, over 42 million doses of COVID vaccines have been administered, which have included both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. However, a little over 25 million of those are just single doses of the vaccines that require two doses to fully work.

         Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the company Johnson & Johnson has announced that they have created a single-dose vaccine. The J&J website states that its vaccine is 66% effective against moderate and severe cases of the Coronavirus.


Author: The Bells Staff

Share This Post On

Commenting Policy
We welcome your comments on news and opinions articles, provided that they allowed by our Commenting Policy.