Los Angeles County health officials who are “strongly” urging people – even those who are vaccinated – to wear a mask indoors due to the “Delta variant” of the Wuhan coronavirus are overreacting, contend two prominent epidemiologists.
Dr. Peter McCullough said the restrictions in Los Angeles and lockdowns in Australia, Thailand and South Africa are “completely unnecessary.”
“The Delta variant is the mildest one we’ve seen so far, and even though it’ll proportionately take up a greater number of cases – and we expect this in the United States – it has a very low mortality, appears to be the most treatable strain that we’ve seen so far,” he said Monday in an interview with Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” which was guest-hosted by Ben Domenech.
“We’re going to keep patients out of the hospital at a very low risk of mortality,” said McCullough, a practicing internist, cardiologist, epidemiologist and professor of medicine at the Baylor University School of Medicine in Dallas.
Some 70% of Australia’s population is under lockdown restrictions amid less than 200 active Delta variant cases. Thailand and South Africa also are imposing shutdowns, and Japan and Germany are implementing severe travel restrictions. The Delta variant now accounts for at least 20% of all new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a statement, the Los Angeles County Department of Health said it “strongly recommends people wear masks indoors in settings such as grocery or retail stores; theaters and family entertainment centers, and workplaces when you don’t know everyone’s vaccination status,” L.A.’s KABC-TV reported.
Last week, the county’s public health director, Barbara Ferrer, said a total of 123 cases of the Delta variant had been identified in the county of 10 million, about twice the number from the previous week. But she said there are likely are many more infections in the county, because officials conduct very limited sequential testing required to identify the variant.
In “The Ingraham Angle” interview, Dr. Harvey Risch of the Yale School of Public Health said there’s no way to stop the spread of the Delta variant, and its spread actually will be helpful, because it is mild and will enhance herd immunity.
He said governments, media and corporations are “dramatically” overreacting.
“This is a very mild variant, and the cases are going to go up … whereas at the same time the mortality is flat, near zero,” Risch said.
“So basically what the reaction to is a flu or a bad cold for most people who get it.”
Last Thursday, President Joe Biden said COVID deaths in the U.S. will continue to rise due to the “dangerous” Delta variant, calling it a “serious concern.”
“Six hundred thousand-plus Americans have died, and with this Delta variant you know there’s going to be others as well. You know it’s going to happen. We’ve got to get young people vaccinated,” Biden said at a community center in Raleigh, North Carolina.
See the interview with Drs. Peter McCullough and Harvey Risch:
The Delta variant, which originated in India, is blamed for rampant infections in that country and outbreaks in the United Kingdom and around the world.
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