Biden’s Covid chief dismisses the usefulness of a China-like lockdown

Jha said the focus continues to be on providing vaccinations, boosters and treatments for COVID-19, rather than the Biden administration. To that end, he also urged Congress to seek out a multi-billion dollar funding package when he returns from recess later this month.

“My hope is that they take this issue up immediately and make sure that we get funding to the American people, so that we can make sure that the treatments, the vaccines, the tests, all remain available.”

Jha was also asked about the possible withdrawal of uniform indoor mask-wearing requirements restored in philadelphia, He said that these decisions should be taken at the local level.

“Some may choose to go down this road, others will not,” he said. “I think that’s exactly where these decisions should be made.”

He also defended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decision to extend the federal travel mask mandate for at least 15 days amid a spurt in COVID cases. The policy was supposed to expire on April 18, but will remain in effect till May 3.

“They say 15 more days will give us a better understanding of whether these cases are leading to serious illness, hospitalization and death,” Jha said. “And I think 15 days is a pretty reasonable time to collect more data and make more sustainable decisions.”

Also on Sunday, Jha expressed confidence that the current menu of vaccines remains effective against the highly infectious BA.2 subvariant, which has become the dominant strain of the virus across the United States.

“Our vaccines are going well; Especially if you get promoted, you’re going to do well,” Jha said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

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