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Rand Paul on WH deploying ‘Delta variant’ response teams: ‘Don’t let the fearmongers win’

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The Biden administration is well short of its announced goal to have 70% of all U.S. adults vaccinated by the 4th of July. As of June 30, the figure was at 46.7%, according to Becker’s Hospital Review — media allies were quick to note that about 66.7% of the population has received at least one dose.

To further facilitate reaching the goal, the administration cited what is being billed in the media as “the highly contagious” Delta variant to announce on Thursday that it is deploying response teams across the United States.

In effect, fear seems to be a reliant fallback on getting more people to ignore growing concerns about associated risks and getting vaccinated. A recent report suggested most Americans who planned to get the vaccine have done so, leaving mostly the hesitant.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has been outspoken about the handling of the virus, took to social media to urge people not to succumb to fear.

“Don’t let the fearmongers win. New public England study of delta variant shows 44 deaths out of 53,822 (.08%) in unvaccinated group. Hmmm,” he tweeted.

“These are dedicated teams working with communities at higher risk for or already experiencing outbreaks due to the spread of the Delta variant and their low vaccination rate,” White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients said during a teleconference.

“Our COVID-19 surge response teams will be ready to, one, surge additional testing into communities to expand detection of the virus and allow public health authorities to do contact tracing to help contain outbreaks,” he added.

Zients said the teams will also “provide therapeutics to help treat those infected with COVID,” and “deploy federal personnel where needed and where requested to address gaps and augment local staff supporting vaccination, testing, and therapeutics work.”

Not to worry, though, the White House is still allowing people to celebrate America’s independence — if they’re vaccinated.

“Our public health officials have been out conveying that they’re safe and effective,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said of COVID-19 vaccines. “We certainly feel comfortable and confident in moving forward with our event at the White House and with individuals having barbecues in their backyards this weekend to celebrate the 4th of July and America’s birthday.”

The Delta variant response teams will include officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to CNN.

While Zients noted that COVID deaths are down by more than 90% since January 20th, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the Delta variant “is predicted to be the second most prevalent variant in the United States,” and reminded all that current vaccines provide protection against the Delta variant.

For added emphasis, she said, “Preliminary data from a collection of states over the last six months suggest 99.5% of deaths from COVID-19 in these states have occurred in unvaccinated people.”

The director said approximately 1,000 counties in the U.S. have vaccination coverage of less than 30%. Walensky also reminded “those who remain unvaccinated to protect themselves by wearing a mask and avoiding crowds to prevent transmission and illness.”

“The science is clear. The best way to protect yourself against the virus and its variants is to be fully vaccinated,” Dr. Anthony Fauci would add. “It works. It’s free. It’s safe. It’s easy. And it’s convenient.”

Fauci went back and forth on wearing masks, saying “if you’re vaccinated, you have a high degree of protection so you need not wear a mask either indoor or outdoor.”

Yet, he cited CDC recommendations to say “there’s a degree of flexibility.”

“People at the local level,” he added, “depending upon the on-ground situation, will make recommendations or not according to the local situation,” Fauci said.

“As Dr. Fauci and Dr. Walensky have both underscored, the most important step we can take to prevent these outbreaks is for more Americans to get vaccinated,” Zients concluded. “That’s why the COVID-19 surge response teams will focus on increasing shots in arms in communities with low vaccination rates who are fighting outbreaks, including through targeted paid media into these areas.”

Tom Tillison

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