John Batchelor and I discuss the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the emergence of the Omicron EG.5 sub-variant and its impact. Among the ongoing challenges are viral evolution, testing difficulties, and the effectiveness of masks. I am critical of irresponsible personal behaviors and legislative attempts to prohibit mask and vaccine mandates. Continued precautions are important.
Our conversation begins with the emergence of sub-variant of Omicron EG.5 and its impact, particularly in large cities like Manhattan. John raises questions about the new variants and the ongoing challenges individuals face, especially those over 60 with preexisting conditions. These challenges are due to continued viral evolution, adapting under Darwinian pressure, and concerns about the virus's ability to escape immunity from prior infection or vaccines.
John shared a personal experience of the virus spreading among young people, which led to a discussion of the effectiveness of masks and whether they should be recommended again. Our conversation shifted then to the persistence of COVID-19 despite the U.S. government declaring an end to the pandemic. I explained that the nation’s institutions and leadership have not behaved responsibly. For example, Senator J.D. Vance's Freedom to Breathe Act aims to prohibit mask mandates – an effort I find both irresponsible and contrary to scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of masks.
Here is the link to the audio of my conversation with CBS Eye on the World with John Batchelor.