Dr. Jha to Newsmax: Britain Shows How Mandates Can Be Dropped (Newsmax/"Wake Up America")
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Thursday, 20 January 2022 09:25 AM
The United States should look to Britain's decision to drop all of its COVID-19 mandates as proof that it needs to change its policies based on local conditions and as matters get better, Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said Thursday on Newsmax.
"In the UK, infections are dramatically down from the peak of the surge," Jha said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "What I think that means for us is as our case numbers come down, especially in localities which have seen big outbreaks, we're going to want to see those restrictions get pulled back. The bottom line is you always want to be changing your policy based on local conditions, and as conditions get better."
But still, Jha said, vaccination rates are much higher in Britain than they are in the United States, and the country "had a nationwide mask mandate, which we do not have."
Jha also disagreed that mandates should ever be pulled back based on a country's mood.
"The mood of the country matters but at the end of the day, you don't want people getting infected, getting hospitalized, and dying, so that's what you care about," said Jha. "What people are willing to do is a really important part of that calculus. But in my mind, when the surge is horrible, you should put in restrictions and ask people to wear masks and avoid large indoor crowds. And then when the surge gets better, you should pull back on those."
Meanwhile, "almost every elderly person in the UK is fully vaccinated," but there are still about 12% of older people in the United States who have not gotten their full course of shots, and that is another factor in England being able to pull back its mandates, said Jha.
The doctor also hit back against criticism from members of the media and others who refer to unvaccinated people "as idiots or any of that stuff."
"I'm not a huge fan of disparaging people, and one of the things I've learned over the years is disparaging people doesn't get them to do the things that you think they should be doing," Jha said. "You've got to engage with people. You got to treat them with respect. You have got to understand what's holding them back, and you have to be respectful."
But there is a "lot of rhetoric out there," even in Europe, where France's President Emmanuel Macron earlier this month, using profanity, warned unvaccinated people that they would be banned from public activities.
"Going after unvaccinated people, that is not my style, and I don't think that's a helpful framework," the doctor concluded.
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