Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health and the White House Coronavirus Response coordinator, predicted a rise in COVID-19 cases for the coming fall and winter during his recent appearance on ABC's "This Week." (Related: Ashish Jha, Biden's new COVID-19 Coordinator, wants everyone to have "vaccine passports")
Jha told host Martha Raddatz that they are planning for a variety of scenarios, including a wave of infection this fall and winter.
"We're making sure we have a new generation of vaccines that are being worked on right now, that we have availability of treatments and testing, and we have the resources," he said.
And just like Biden, Jha also called on Congress to pass funding against the virus.
"By the way, one of the reasons I've been talking a lot about the need for Congress to step up and fund this effort is if they don't, Martha, we will go into the fall and winter without that next generation of vaccines, without treatments and diagnostics. That's going to make it much, much harder for us to take care of and protect Americans," Jha said.
And when it comes to funding, Americans don't appear to be as worried as the Biden administration.
Based on a report released by Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index on May 18, the numbers are evenly split by the smallest amount with at least 31 percent saying that funding is not enough. At least 35 percent said it's the right amount, while 33 percent said that it's too much.
Experts said that administration officials should do a better job of preparing the public for a rejuvenated virus in the fall and winter seasons when people spend most of their time indoors. They added that if people become complacent by waiving booster doses or neglecting to vaccinate their children, they could pay a price later.
"The attitude is, 'We've got this, we're over it.'" said Dr. Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research in San Diego. "People should be gearing up, they should be getting booster shots. But there is no awareness."
If the pandemic seems to be a minor concern, that also makes it tougher for the White House to get new funding from Congress to refill its supply of tests, treatments and vaccines in time for the fall. The Biden administration has said it wants to launch a booster campaign at that point with vaccines retooled to work better against the latest version of the virus.
Jha warned during a White House briefing that if Congress fails to give the administration's request for $22 billion in new COVID funding, Americans would suffer when the fall season comes.
Another takeaway from Jha's appearance on the ABC program is a likely return to indoor masking.
Raddatz and Jha made mention of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who ceased from re-imposing an indoor mask mandate.
Jha reiterated the directive: "When you're in an indoor space, you should be wearing a mask. I feel that very strongly, that in crowded indoor spaces, in places with high transmission, people should be doing that."
Neither Raddatz nor Jha mentioned that Adams ordered the forced masking of toddlers.
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Watch the video below to know how Americans react to Biden's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This video is from the GalacticStorm channel on Brighteon.com.