Dear Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community,
Worldwide, we now have reached 5 million COVID-19 deaths and more than 750,000 in the United States. I think, unfortunately, we may hit 800,000 deaths in the U.S. Meanwhile, Japan recorded zero deaths for the first time in 15 months. The country went from terrible, to a great example, and that can be attributed to vaccinations and mask wearing.
In the United States, the areas that are now looking better are because so many people had already been infected that the new case numbers are down. Not the way you want to get your numbers down, because those infections included many deaths. And then there is Puerto Rico, with an underfunded healthcare system, high levels of poverty and an infrastructure that remains devastated from a major hurricane, is doing really well. It seems the sense of solidarity after such hardships has led to a public health response untainted by political polarization seen on the mainland.
In this week’s video, I go over some really interesting news on new drugs to treat COVID-19, which will be very important, as well as science showing the need for boosters. The other big news is that six new vaccines are in the pipeline to be available next year, including Dr. Peter Hotez’s vaccine with Biological E.
You may also be interested in the fact that white-tailed deer in Iowa are showing up with SARS CoV2, presumably contracted from humans. There seems to be no animal to human infection here.
This week we observed Veteran’s Day. It is very important that we take time to think about all the men and women who volunteer to serve our country and the sacrifices they and their families make .
I hope you have an enjoyable weekend. Stay safe.
Paul Klotman, M.D.
President & CEO