Surgeon General Murthy on End Goal with COVID: Success Is ‘Not Losing Nearly as Many People’

On Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said that in order to get to success with handling the Delta variant, we have to “vaccinate enough people, develop enough in the way of therapeutics and treatments such that we’re not losing nearly as many people every day, every week, every year to the Delta virus.”

Host Jim Acosta asked, “[W]hat is the end goal when it comes to this pandemic? I mean, this is something that I think that’s on the minds of a lot of Americans. Is it to try to get below a certain number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, to have this completely eradicated, is there another measure that you would consider to be success at this point, or are we just going to have to live with this? Are we at the point now where there’s just going to be a percentage of Americans who are going to refuse to get vaccinated and that will inevitably perpetuate this to some extent?”

Murthy responded, “Well, Jim, we live with a number of respiratory viruses, including the common cold, and we’re able to manage with it. Because what’s different from those viruses and Delta is that they don’t cost us the types of numbers that we see in terms of lives…in terms of hospitalizations. What we’ve got to do to get to a successful place with Delta is vaccinate enough people, develop enough in the way of therapeutics and treatments such that we’re not losing nearly as many people every day, every week, every year to the Delta virus. We can get there, Jim. But we’ve got to double down on our vaccine effort. We’ve got to take the other measures that we know to reduce spread.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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