ARE COVID-19’S BIG WAVES OVER? EXPERTS ARE SPLIT
Experts are split on whether the waning delta surge will be the last major COVID-19 wave to strike the U.S., as Americans grow eager for the pandemic to end after 19 months.
The vaccination rate and decreasing cases in most states have provided a ray of hope that the pandemic could be winding down after its final large wave, some experts say.
But other public health experts caution that the unpredictability of the virus suggests another surge could still happen as the country braces for winter — which led to skyrocketing cases, deaths and hospitalizations last year.
Nicholas Reich, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said declaring there won’t be another major wave after delta “feels like” a “premature” and “bold” statement.
“Is there a chance? Sure, but I feel like if there’s one thing we’ve learned from this, it’s that there’s a lot more sort of uncertainty and randomness … in COVID then we’ve given it credit for so far,” he said.
Others, including former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, took a more optimistic stance, anticipating that cases won’t rise to the summer delta levels again.
“Barring something unexpected, I’m of the opinion that this is the last major wave of infection,” Gottlieb told The New York Times last week.