Former CDC director warns mandates will backfire, questions lack of urgency for anti-virals, testing

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(Video: Fox News)

President Joe Biden is set to deliver remarks to the American public on Tuesday, the focus of which it is thought will be on strategies to address the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. Former CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield joined Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” Tuesday where he discussed with host Brian Kilmeade what he believes the president should be saying and doing.

“If you were writing the script for the president today, what are some of the bullet points that you would like to get across to the American people?” Kilmeade asked.

Redfield said it should be reiterated to the populace that vaccines work, though he does not believe that mandates are an effective strategy. He said that “knowledge of infection” needs to be increased, meaning the administration and the private sector must expand testing opportunities.

“Rather than treat everybody as if they may be infected, why don’t we start focusing on the people that are infected?” the Doctor asked rhetorically. He suggested the nation would need a billion tests a month, which one can infer means multiple tests for each person as the U.S. population is only slightly more than 330 million.

Redfield also called for more attention to be paid to the development of monoclonal antibody treatments which he says the private sector can build upon, increasing the range of options along with the currently available vaccines through Moderna and Pfizer.

He also stressed that he feels the public must move towards “a culture of personal responsibility,” and added he is not an advocate for mandates.

“I think when you tell people they have to do something that they may be reluctant to do, then they become more reluctant,” Redfield asserted.

Kilmeade expressed his frustration that the antiviral pill developed by Pfizer has been delayed in its arrival to the wider market. Redfield agreed, saying he sees no urgency in either increasing rapid testing availability or bringing antivirals to the public.

The host suggested Americans should not be treating the Omicron variant as if it is as lethal as the Delta variant, to which Redfield agreed and explained that the main difference in the Omicron variant is that it replicates in the upper respiratory tracts of the nose and throat rather than in the lower lung, making it less problematic and resulting in symptoms akin to the common cold.

Redfield said he predicted that a mutation following the Delta variant would be more transmissible but less pathogenic and that he believes there will inevitably be another variant after Omicron which will be even more transmissible but, hopefully, even less dangerous.

Both Kilmeade and Redfield agreed that while the new variants continue to be more infectious, personal responsibility and risk assessment should not be supplanted by fear and panic.

Biden warned Americans that a “winter of death” is upon the nation; a doomsday prophecy he will likely double-down on during his speech Tuesday.

“For unvaccinated we are looking at a winter of severe illness and death if you’re unvaccinated for themselves, their families, and the hospitals they will soon overwhelm,” Biden said last week.


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