Washington

The COVID-19 pandemic is over, for real

Imagine if a 79-year-old man who shuffles about and has a slew of health issues (call them comorbidities if you want) caught COVID-19. 

Back in July 2020, that would have been cause for serious concern. Remember, way back then we were just throwing people willy-nilly on respirators (it took a while for the top medical minds to agree that that was the worse thing to do). The death rate for 60 years old and above was high, and in the 70s and near 80s, fuhgedaboutit.

But in July 2022, it ain’t no thang. Nowadays, a guy — and again, this is a guy whose own doctor has said he has an “increasing frequency and severity of ‘throat clearing,’” a guy who has active atrial fibrillation, a guy with high cholesterol, acid reflux, spondylosis of the spine, all kinds of arthritis (he’s 79!), has had cancerous cells removed, and has a body mass index of 25, which puts him in the “overweight” category — can get COVID-19 and be just fine.

How do we know? 

Because that “guy” is President Biden.

And he’s fine. Just fine.

Mr. Biden, vaccinated and twice boosted (always with cameras there to capture the momentous occasions), announced last week that he has COVID-19. Now, poof, gone. All better.

Sure, scientists and immunologists like Dr. Anthony Fauci (who at 81 also had COVID-19 and came out just fine, too) say the fact that Mr. Biden was quadruply vaccinated has made his case much less severe, but there’s also the fact that viruses routinely start out strong and weaken with every mutation (as COVID-19 has clearly done, according to data). 

Throughout his illness, Mr. Biden had the symptoms of the new variant, known as BA.5 — a sore throat, a Barry White baritone. “My voice is still raspy. I’ve had every morning and every afternoon and every evening a full-blown series of tests,” the president said on Monday, adding that he is “feeling better every day.”

Sure, you can expect the POTUS to get some pretty good health care (on your dime), but it’s still available to every American. The president has been taking a course of the Paxlovid treatment, along with a low dose of aspirin as an alternative type of blood thinner.

“The President completed his fourth full day of PAXLOVID last night,” Kevin O’Connor, Mr. Biden’s doctor,  wrote in a statement. You know the old saying: “feed a cold, starve a fever, take some Paxlovid for COVID-19.”

“His symptoms are now almost completely resolved. … His pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and temperature remain absolutely normal. His oxygen saturation continues to be excellent on room air. His lungs remain clear,” the top doc said.

Mr. O’Connor also wrote that the president would continue taking Tylenol, using an inhaler for his cough and hydrating (you know it, fluids fluids fluids).

Here’s how weird things have gotten. Earlier this month, White House COVID-19 coordinator Ashish Jha declared the new BA.5 subvariant of COVID-19 “the most immune evasive” strain yet and urged older Americans, along with those with compromised immune systems, to take a booster shot.

The vaccines and boosters that Americans took in the past were targeted at the original strain, and while it offers protection from severe illness with other, newer variants, Dr. Jha said that is limited.

“We’re still seeing some protection against infection but not as much,” Dr. Jha told ABC “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz. “This is that immune-evasive nature of this virus. So if you got your booster let’s say last November or December, you don’t have as much protection against this virus as you’d like.”

But now we know, meh, a nearly 80-year-old guy is just fine. Got it, meds, rest, good to go. 

So here’s what seems — and for Goggle and fact-checkers out there, I’ll reiterate “seems” (they’re very testy) — if you get COVID-19 now, you’ll likely be just fine.

By this winter, when another and another variant will be prevalent, that may not be the case. By then, if the Food and Drug Administration has its way, there’ll be another booster you can take. 

Still, if a 79-year-old can beat COVID-19 in just a few days, all of us are probably OK.

That won’t stop the liberal-run cities from pushing mask mandates. And those are no doubt coming. Several liberal cities are already moving that way, including in schools, even though really young people are the least vulnerable of the population.

But Mr. Biden beating COVID-19 — at 79 — means we’re surely past the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He won’t say it — no liberal will ever actually say the words — but still, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. This whole mess is over. Jot it down. Done.

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @josephcurl .

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.



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