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Michigan Health System Overwhelmed by Rising COVID-19 Cases

The health system in Michigan is facing increased pressure due to a recent surge in coronavirus infections in the state. According to data compiled by John Hopkins University, the number of daily infections is fast approaching the high of 7,226 cases set in last November. Michigan Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun admitted that the public healthcare system is getting overwhelmed and they are unable to properly identify infected people or where the outbreaks are happening. As a result, Khaldun believes that they are currently undercounting the COVID-19 numbers.

Michigan Governor Democrat Gretchen Whitmer has asked citizens to avoid events that might risk spreading the contagion. “I’m calling on high schools to voluntarily go remote for two weeks past spring break, calling on youth sports to voluntarily suspend games and practices for two weeks. And I’m strongly encouraging all Michiganders to avoid dining indoors and avoid gathering with friends indoors for two weeks. Support your local restaurants by eating outside, or getting carry out instead of dining indoors. Opt for small, outdoor gatherings with masks,” she said at a press conference.

Both Khaldun and Whitmer asked citizens to wear masks, wash hands, observe social distancing, and get vaccinated. According to data from the Michigan Department of Health, around two dozen hospitals in the state have reached 90 percent capacity, with over 15 percent of Michigan hospital beds hosting CCP Virus infected patients. Six counties from Detroit stated that they were treating the highest number of patients since the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that Michigan has the highest infection rate in the country at 492.1 cases per 100,000 people. Dr. Khaldun says around 3,406 people have been hospitalized in the state due to COVID-19 infection as of April 7. This is a 380 percent increase from February when the number was at 709. The influx of coronavirus patients has been so great that many hospitals in Michigan have postponed surgeries to take care of COVID-19 patients.

The number of COVID-19 infections in Michigan is rising alarmingly despite its mass vaccination campaign.
The number of COVID-19 infections in Michigan is rising alarmingly despite its mass vaccination campaign. (Image: neelam279 via pixabay)

The White House has announced that it will be boosting federal support for Michigan in terms of testing, therapeutics, and vaccinations. However, there will be no delivery of additional vaccines. Federal authorities are willing to deploy 160 personnel from FEMA and the CDC to help the state in its vaccination campaign. Washington will also adjust the distribution of the vaccine in a manner where places with the greatest need will be prioritized.

The rapid rise in cases in Michigan has been linked with the spread of the more infectious UK variant that is currently believed to be the dominant strain in the United States. Some medical experts have warned that the rate of vaccination may be too slow compared to the rate at which new variants are spreading among the population. Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, points out that the surge in infections is happening despite the fact that vaccinations are going on.

“The vaccine rollout has been a really important tool to try to reduce these cases. But as you’ve seen from Michigan and Minnesota — even though they have very high levels of vaccination relative to the rest of the country — you’re still seeing how severe the problem is… We’re just aren’t going to be able to get enough people vaccinated quickly enough to keep the rest of the country from experiencing much of what we’re seeing in the upper Midwest and Northeast,” Osterholm told CNN.

Questioning the narrative

These concerns could be widely off the mark, however. Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche, certified expert in microbiology and infectious diseases, called for a public scientific debate with the WHO to address serious concerns regarding mass infection prevention. Vanden Bosche argues that widespread vaccination will put evolutionary pressure on the viruses to develop adaptations, thus breeding highly infectious variants that can escape the vaccine’s protection. 

Meanwhile, Former Pfizer Vice President Dr. Michael Yeadon insists that your natural immunity should be able to handle all variants, and that immune escape variant should not be a problem. The problem as he sees it is that drug companies will hype them up to make people get booster vaccine shots, thus boosting profits. He says, “you could invent a story that is about a virus and its variations, its mutations over time… and make sure you embed it through the captive media, make sure that no one can counter it by censoring alternative sources, then people are now familiar with this idea that this virus mutates, which is does, and that it produces variants, which is true [as well], which could escape your immune system, and that’s a lie.”

  • Prakash Gogoi: Die-hard anime fan, would watch movies all day long if possible, any genre. The most prized investment ever made in the house is the theater room. If Prakash is not writing, he'll be in there.

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