President Joe Biden’s declaration on Thursday that COVID-19 immunizations or at the very least required weekly testing will be widely expanded is likely a hint that the government sees the writing on the wall.
Despite uncertain but optimistic evidence that the fourth wave of COVID-19 cases in the United States, which began in the early days of summer, was fading, the fifth wave will be catastrophically worse unless drastic actions are taken.
What will happen this fall and winter, when children are back in school and Americans travel for the holidays once more? Despite the CDC’s dire cautions that people stay home for the holidays last year, they mainly did not, resulting in the third rise in cases, which eclipsed the first two.
That doesn’t bode good for Christmas 2021, especially because seven states have already eclipsed their prior high in cases in this fourth wave (with another four doing almost as badly):
The possibility that an increase in cases could persuade more unvaccinated Americans to rethink their minds was first optimistic, but it did not last. If the fourth wave fades significantly, a fifth wave may be required to persuade a significantly larger number of people.