Dr. Jha to Newsmax: CDC Made Right Call to Reduce COVID Isolation Period (Newsmax/"Wake Up America")
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Wednesday, 29 December 2021 11:50 AM
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the right call by reducing its isolation guidelines from 10 days to five for people who have tested positive for COVID-19, Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said on Newsmax Wednesday.
"Five days and then if you are symptom-free, if you feel fine then five more days of wearing a mask, I think that's a pretty good compromise," Jha said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "Look, we could ask everybody to do it for 10 days. We know it's burdensome. We know most people do most of the [disease] spreading in the first five days, so I thought this was a good way to reduce the burden of a 10-day isolation and get people back out there with their families sooner."
Jha added that the recommendation is based on the science for data that shows most of the spread of COVID takes place in the first five days of infection.
"I think it was long overdue," said Jha. "I wish they had done this months ago, but I was happy to do it. I was happy to see that they did it now."
Jha also addressed questions about masks and why it's important for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to isolate rather than just going out with a mask on.
"Masks work, depending on the quality of the masks, the quality of the fit," said Jha. "If you wear a cloth mask, it works a little but not much. If you wear a high-quality surgical mask, it works better. You've got to wear an N95 if you want to wear a high-quality mask."
But that would mean that people who don't want to isolate would have to wear an N95 mask "everywhere all the time," or they would spread the virus to many people, including friends, family, and coworkers, said Jha.
"That is just a bad idea," he continued. "I think most people are not going to tolerate wearing a high-quality N95 mask from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed."
Jha on Wednesday further commented on President Joe Biden's announcement that the administration will be sending out 500 million at-home COVID tests, and rejected the idea that it would be a better idea to send out antiviral pills to immediately treat the virus.
"I think you need both," said Jha. "You need tests to figure out who's infected and who's not. We absolutely need to do a surge of the Merck and Pfizer pills."
However, pharmaceutical production around the world is being hindered because of the difficulty of obtaining the raw materials for medicines coming out of China, he said.
"We've got to figure out how to move production of pharmaceuticals back onshore," he said. "This has been a problem for generations. Right now the administration's doing everything it can to surge both the Merck pill but particularly the Pfizer pill, which I think is the more important one."
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