Because the political press corps, which will be featured front and center, knows nothing about the topic at hand, and thus sucks at its job (though I suppose that’s par for the course akshually!). Anyway, tomorrow the COVID Task Force is supposed to have a press conference, the first in weeks. If I could ask the questions, here are the two I would ask:
- What are the administration’s estimates of vaccinated and unvaccinated people who, if infected, develop long COVID?
- The administration has argued people need to determine the risk of infection for themselves. Given that the CDC’s Community Levels are designed to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed, and that many positive cases aren’t being reported due to at-home antigen testing, will the administration require hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding to release the 7-day average percentage of people who aren’t admitted with possible COVID symptoms who test positive for COVID (e.g., the pregnant, routine procedures, etc.), along with the 7-day average percentage of people who are admitted with possible COVID symptoms who test positive, so people can make informed decisions to protect themselves?
Regarding Question #1, the Task Force will probably release some chaff about how long COVID is very difficult to quantify and so we don’t really know. At which point, there need to be two follow up questions. First, ask them if they’re familiar with recent studies in the U.S. and the UK that do offer reasonable estimates. Second, and this is the critical one, ask them if this means the administration’s COVID response has been made without considering the effects of long COVID (after all, they almost never mention it–something I’ll discuss tomorrow).
Regarding Question #2, the administration should be reminded that a couple of hospitals already do this (the UC hospitals), and we need this information.
But our national press corps is stupid and ignorant, and these questions won’t be asked, so people will get sick, even die, needlessly.