Dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health Dr. Ashish Jha said Friday that the U.S. won’t have “a major fourth surge” of the coronavirus.
While appearing on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily” Jha responded to a question from host Chuck Todd about the new variant of the coronavirus currently spreading through Europe, and explained why he thinks the country will see a “significant bump in cases,” but not on the level that Europe is experiencing. (RELATED: Trump Torches Dr. Fauci And Deborah Birx On Early Days Of Pandemic, Says They ‘Made Nothing But Mistakes’)
Todd began by asking Jha what his level of concern was over the new variants of the coronavirus in Europe. He noted that some doctors think the U.S. could end up being a “carbon copy” of the situation in Europe.
“We’re not going to have another Europe on our hands. We’re not going to have a major fourth surge,” Jha responded. “But what we are looking towards, and what looks like is about to happen, is we are going to see a significant bump in cases in a bunch of states, and that means more infections, more hospitalizations, more deaths.”
He went on to explain he’s confident the U.S. will avoid the same situation as Europe because more people have been vaccinated in the U.S. He said we’ve also vaccinated a lot of our highest risk people, such as the elderly. He added, “I don’t see us getting crushed in the same way.”
“None of this means I’m not worried at all. I do think we ‘re going to see more infections and deaths. We’ve got to do our part right now. This is not the moment to let go of all of our public health measures. We’ve got to keep them in place until all high risk people are vaccinated,” he concluded. “That’s probably another four weeks, six at the most, but probably four weeks, we’ll have high risk folks vaccinated. That’s, I think, when we can start relaxing some of our public health measures.”
A new strain of the coronavirus, considered to be more contagious, was discovered spreading in various countries, including the U.K. in December. A massive vaccination campaign also began in Europe in December, with experts saying the vaccines can also guard against the new strain. President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the U.S. will meet its goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans ahead of schedule, meaning that more people in the U.S. will likely be protected from the new strain of the virus.