With all but a few – mainly liberal – locales having returned to a pre-pandemic way of life, many were wondering whether the Biden administration would persist in clinging to its control-oriented, COVID-obsessed narratives, and with the emergence Friday of a panicky warning of mass infections that could emerge this fall, Americans finally – and frustratingly – have their answer.
As the Washington Post reports, a senior White House official on Friday cautioned that new omicron coronavirus subvariants may reveal themselves in the cooler months to come, potentially driving upwards of 100 million new infections.
The prediction was made, according to the Post, amid efforts on the part of the administration to convince legislators to approve billions in new funding for COVID-19 testing, therapeutics, and vaccines.
Noticeably absent from the seemingly dire forecast, however, was any reference to new data that would tend to support the thesis. Instead, the official referred to pandemic modeling based on the assumption that omicron and its progeny subvariants will remain dominant and that no drastically divergent viral strains will materialize.
Undergirding the cautionary words from the Biden administration were suggestions that a massive infectious wave could well be on the horizon in large part because of disappearing mitigation measures such as masking and capacity restrictions on indoor social and recreational venues, though waning vaccine efficacy was also included in the dicussion.
Skeptics will likely find the timing of these prognostications a bit curious, given that the administration is indeed working to reanimate negotiations over requests for substantial new infusions of coronavirus response funding, a process that hit a significant snag amid the decision to life Title 42, a pandemic-related measure designed to facilitate swift expulsions of migrants at the southern border.
Despite the suspiciously ominous tone of the administration’s announcement, David Dowdy, a Johns Hopkins infectious disease epidemiologist, declared, “I think it’s difficult, if not impossible, to predict the future of this virus,” as ABC News reported.
While Dowdy acknowledged that a sizable surge of new infections in the autumn is certainly plausible, he believes there is a very real chance that current infection levels will yield sufficient immunity across the population to prevent large-scale hospitalizations and deaths. “All to say, I don’t think we should be sounding alarm bells about inevitable future waves,” said the doctor.
Without the ability to stoke enough panic among the populace to justify authoritarian controls and profligate spending, however, the Biden administration might actually be forced to confront the very real problems facing the country and to relinquish the charade once and for all. Thus, Friday’s fear-mongering exercise will almost certainly not be the last.