Dr. Nicole Saphier, physician and author of Make America Healthy Again: How Bad Behavior and Big Government Caused a Trillion-Dollar Crisis, said it was unreasonable to make economic reopening contingent on development of a vaccine for the coronavirus, offering her remarks on Tuesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily in an interview with host Alex Marlow.
Marlow asked about those calling for development of a coronavirus vaccine as a prerequisite to “opening up the country.” Various Democrats and assorted left-wing figures such as Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, and Bill Gates have linked a resumption of economic and social normality to formulation and mass administration of a vaccine for the novel virus.
Saphier replied, “It is completely unreasonable to say that we are waiting to open up for the vaccine, because that vaccine may never come.” The novel coronavirus’ asymptomatic spread is “the biggest” concern with the outbreak, she added, urging the use of social distancing in dealing with vulnerable persons.
“We really have to maintain social distancing from those that are most vulnerable, and that means continuing to restrict visitors from nursing homes and making sure nursing homes can actively surveil their workers because their workers are healthy, but they may be bringing it in via asymptomatic spread,” Saphier stated.
Saphier addressed Sen. Chris Murphy’s (D-CT) repeated linking of coronavirus testing to economic “reopening.”
If we’re going to safely reopen in the coming months, we need a lot more tests. Our bill has a plan to get there.https://t.co/uLNp1a5HjE
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) May 1, 2020
Saphier remarked, “Is it reasonable to say every American needs to be tested? Not really, because not every American needs to be tested. If you are a stay-at-home mother working with her kids, or just being at home, you don’t need to go and get tested. But when it comes to kids going back to college, I think that that is potentially something that needs to be done.”
Coronavirus testing policies should be determined by local conditions, added Saphier. “Widespread testing” should be implemented in “places where you still have a lot of circulating virus,” she said, “But you shouldn’t need a negative test to go to the grocery store.”
Masks are valuable in places of human traffic such as grocery stores, Saphier remarked.
“You just need to assume that everybody has the virus, because so many people could be walking around asymptomatic,” Saphier stated. “In these public spaces, you may still need to be wearing masks in the interim until we start seeing cases die down, and it may not happen this summer, but we will start seeing a dying down of cases. It will happen within a couple of years. It would be amazing if we could have a vaccine in the interim, but I’m not sure we will.”
Marlow noted that Democrats and the broader left continually shift the benchmarks upon which they claim economic reopening should be contingent.
“The problem I’m concerned about is we do not have a standard that we are trying to meet [for reopening],” Marlow expressed. “They have now continued to move the goal posts, so now everyone must be tested or we can’t go back to work. The goal posts will keep shifting so that we can’t meet those marks.”
Quick on-site testing at businesses is unlikely to be feasible, predicted Saphier.
Saphier said, “I don’t think that [the 12-minute tests] are going to be as widely available as we might think. They give off these numbers that include the rapid test, but it also includes the public health test that has to be sent to the lab, so it’s not a matter of being able to take a swab and then walk in somewhere. It’s not that easy.”
“The media would love to make [universal testing] the standard [for reopening],” Marlow assessed.
Marlow asked about the utility of masks in reducing the spread of coronavirus infections. He said, “I think it probably does some good [to wear masks], but I’m seeing a lot of people who are not social distancing because they’re wearing masks.”
Saphier responded, “There’s a reason that public health officials and physicians like myself don’t necessarily recommend wearing masks for the general public, because the vast majority of people are not wearing them appropriately and they’re giving them a false sense of confidence.”
Some news media personalities wear masks at White House press briefings as political props, assessed Saphier.
Saphier recalled, “I’ve watched some of the press briefings, and you see the media actually touch their masks for their questions to be heard. What is the point of that? Because now they’ve contaminated their hands [and] their masks. People are not wearing these appropriately. It’s much more about political posturing to make sure they’re doing something right, but I don’t know how much it’s helping them. But I will say it is containing some of respiratory droplets whether they’re coughing or speaking. It might be doing a little bit, but it is not the be-all and end-all.”
Saphier added, “I certainly don’t want to turn into a society where everyone is wearing masks.”
Both Marlow and Saphier concurred that an assortment of medical professionals would be better able to ask questions of importance to the nation’s public health at White House press briefings than the current rotation of news media personalities.
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