Expert: America should focus on ‘indoor air’ and rapid testing, not mass lockdowns
Fifty-five years ago, the Mamas and the Papas sang a song about “California dreamin,” which promoted the Golden State as the antidote to the misery of life elsewhere.
Yet when it comes to coronavirus, no one is dreaming about California now, except liberals who love lockdowns, mask mandates and federal bailout checks. The Census Bureau reports nearly 70,000 people left the state between 2019 and 2020, led by the high-profile departures of entrepreneur Elon Musk and comedian Joe Rogan.
Many Fauci-istas see California as the poster child for the right approach to the virus, yet seem to be stumped why the state’s cases and deaths keep escalating amid ever-tightening lockdowns and more widespread mask usage. On Monday, one expert told Fox News that California instead shows the need for a more surgical method of dealing with the virus, rather than a one-size-fits-all posture.
Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a pulmonologist at New York University-Langone Hospital, responded to Dr. Anthony Fauci’s assertion CNN on Sunday that the worst of COVID-19 still might be in store.
“I find these doomsday comments coming from any of our leaders very unhelpful and discouraging,” she said. “What we need is more humility and more honesty from our public health leaders and political classes” about the “widespread and indiscriminate use of lockdowns.”
Ahmed noted that California’s $3-trillion economy, for example, had been “completely immobilized,” yet “it’s not producing the results that we would hope.” That’s because the quarantines should be “tailored” to where outbreaks occur, she added.
She agreed things will get worse unless our leaders change their approach. That, she said, entails broader use of rapid antigen tests and more emphasis on filtrating indoor air.
Regarding mitigation, “Americans are doing what they can,” Ahmed said. “They’re wearing face masks. They’re separated from their families. They’re limited in their activities. But we’re not tailoring the measures. Ad at the same time, we’re destroying our economy.”
She cited Solvenia as an example of how rapid antigen testing would work. That helped the small eastern European nation to slash its positive cases by 70 percent within a few weeks.
“I am beginning to be increasingly skeptical of the lockdowns,” the doctor added, because of the harm it causes in people who are stripped of their livelihoods.
There is “no imagination for new approaches,” Ahmed said.
“I think there’s two pieces missing. One is the rapid antigen testing, the second is zero interest in cleaning indoor air,” Ahmed said.
Many people spending almost all of their time indoors, in “crowded, poorly ventilated” buildings, and that exacerbates transmission of the virus, she argued.
“Lockdowns,” Ahmed said, should mean “find who’s infected and limit their mobility.”
Regarding California specifically, Gov. Gavin Newsom unwittingly admitted his policies aren’t working.
In a Dec. 23 tweet, Newsom noted, “ICU capacity statewide has dropped to 1.1% – Number of COVID+ ICU patients has doubled in 3 weeks – Hospitalizations are up 61% – 7-day average positivity rate is 12.6% (a slight decline).
“Don’t take your health for granted. Wear a mask. Stay home. Be safe,” Newsom added.
The Golden State now reports more than 2 million positive cases. It clocks in with the second-highest average of daily cases over the past seven days. And according to The New Yor Times’s coronavirus tracker, California’s seven-day average for deaths was 256 on Christmas Eve. The previous peak, back on Aug. 6, was 144.
As Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, has recently noted, “Whereas these broad lockdowns, I think they cause a lot of harm to the non-elderly. They’re not doing very much to slow the spread of the disease.”