Dr. David Pate serves on the Idaho COVID task force. He is the former President & CEO of St. Luke’s Health, receiving an MD in internal medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, and a JD in health from University of Houston Law Center.
Many of us who live in Idaho are exhausted by a politically polarized legislature, none more than Dr. Pate who continually puts the health of Idahoans first, while the state legislature does not. (Many whom are less than intellectually sound and gravitate to red hats, but, hey, that’s a personal take.)
Here is a recent thread from Dr. Pate’s twitter feed as we head into a potential fourth wave of COVID while states like Mississippi and Texas reverse mask mandates and open businesses. Idaho just introduced legislation this week that would eliminate mask mandates in certain communities, like Blaine County and McCall. Governor Brad Little never implemented a state-wide mask mandate. -dayle
As Idaho Republicans keep introducing bills, I have to continue to rearrange to a new one to the list of stupidest bills. This is ridiculous. Legislation Introduced That Would ban Mask Mandates in Idaho.
I warned school board members in the middle of February: Please don’t commit to bringing students back for full in-person classes given admin admitted that we would have to decrease physical distancing. I warned that the UK variant behaves differently in schools and it is likely to become the dominant strain right as you plan to bring all these students back. At that time, the UK variant accounted for about 1% of cases. Today, just two weeks later it accounts for an estimated 10% of cases.
That is a doubling time of 5.6 days.
Using some simple math – with West Ada’s plan to bring everyone back in 26 days – that would mean 4.5 more doubling times = the UK variant will indeed be the predominant strain, in fact, unless we find that one of the other variants (maybe the California variant?), out-competes it, it will completely replace the previous variants on which their whole operating plan was based. I should know- I wrote it.
This variant [P1] has shown up next door, Idaho. I guarantee you this is not the time to give up masks & physical distancing, & I have no idea why elected leaders think we should have larger gatherings. Brazil’s Covid Crisis Is a Warning to the Whole World.
Brazil’s Covid Crisis Is a Warning to the Whole World, Scientists Say
Brazil is seeing a record number of deaths, and the spread of a more contagious coronavirus variant that may cause reinfection.
Dr. Pate can be heard on Boise State Public Radio’s ‘Idaho Matters’, every Wednesday, KBSX radio, or online streaming. Also available via podcast.
From the Washington Post this afternoon, 3.4.21:
Health officials continue to criticize Texas and Mississippi’s moves to rescind mask mandates and let businesses operate at full capacity.
The nation’s top infectious-disease expert, Anthony S. Fauci, called the choices “ill-advised,” while some local officials begged residents to keep wearing face coverings. Previously plummeting infection totals in the United States have stalled in recent days, possibly because in part to the spread of more contagious variants.
Many businesses in Texas and Mississippi were quick to remove their “masks required” signs, but some of the country’s biggest retailers – including Target and Starbucks – said they would continue to mandate masks in their Texas stores to protect front-line workers and customers.
Meanwhile, Europe is also experiencing an end to six weeks of declining case numbers as the virus mounts an unwelcome resurgence. New cases have risen by 9 percent in the past week, with central and eastern Europe impacted the most. World Health Organization officials attributed some of the increase to a more contagious variant, first detected in the United Kingdom, that is driving an outbreak in the Czech Republic and Hungary.
From Dr. Anthony Fauci:
Public health officials have been warning of a possible fourth wave of the pandemic should the nation let its guard down, especially since the seven-day average of new cases remains at roughly 65,000 in the U.S.
“I don’t know why they’re doing it, but it’s certainly from a public health standpoint ill-advised.” If you look at, right now, the curves of the diminution of infections that are going down, it’s reached the point where the last seven days have plateaued. We’ve been to this scene before, months and months ago when we tried to open up the country and open up the economy, when certain states did not abide by the guidelines, we had rebounds that were very troublesome.”
Earlier in the day, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky acknowledged that a year of restrictions was helping to fuel a worrisome change in behavior.
“Stamina has worn thin,” Walensky said during a press briefing Wednesday morning. “Fatigue is winning, and the exact measures we have taken to stop the pandemic are now too often being flagrantly ignored.” [Yahoo News]