Covid vaccine skepticism will prevent U.S. from reaching normalcy, ICU doctor says

By | March 13, 2021

A new poll found that 49% of Republican men said they won’t get vaccinated for Covid-19 and Dr. Vin Gupta said that “will determine the trajectory of this pandemic” to the detriment of all Americans.

“All forecasts right now say that we’re going to be past the worst of this with normalcy by say end of June, early July. That, however, is contingent on people actually getting the vaccine to the tune of 75% to 80% of eligible adults by that time period,” Gupta, who works in an intensive care unit, said. “If that’s not the case —if there’s skepticism or hesitancy that high — we’re not going to get there.” 

Gupta, a lung doctor and NBC medical contributor, pointed to models from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) that suggest the U.S. could still experience 100,000 cases and at least 1,000 deaths per day if the rates of eligible adults getting vaccinated were below projections. 

Joe Biden promised a rapid return to normalcy during his first primetime address as president Thursday night.

“After this long, hard year, it will make this Independence Day something truly special, where we not only mark our independence as a nation, but we begin to mark our independence from this virus,” he said. 

Gupta, who is an affiliate assistant professor at the University of Washington’s IHME, told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that Covid will be something that Americans live with, and that it will turn into more of an endemic virus, meaning it will regularly be found among the population. 

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“There’s still going to be transmission of the virus, but people won’t get sick and end up in the hospital,” Gupta said. “That’s the hope, that only a small segment of society may remain vulnerable, and we can manage that. That’s what normalcy is going to look like; management, not complete eradication.”

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