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The Myth of Feeling Safe From the Pandemic | Former CDC Chief Tom Frieden | GZERO World

The myth of feeling safe from the pandemic: former CDC chief Tom Frieden

Although COVID will likely become endemic sometime this year in some parts of the world, the virus will still rage on everywhere else.

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer catches out on the pandemic's state of play with former CDC chief Tom Frieden, who has a message for everyone who hasn't gotten vaxxed yet: do it, since new variants could emerge and make the virus more deadly.

Frieden says he's stunned by how infectious COVID is compared to other diseases — and that's why those who claim they can predict what's going to happen in a few weeks don't know what they're talking about.

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| GZERO Media

"We need to invest in public health," says former CDC director, lessons that "we better learn"

If we've learned anything from COVID, former CDC chief Tom Frieden says it's that we need to invest a lot more in public health.

"We need a renaissance in our public health system. We need a robust primary care system. And we need resilient populations," he tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Without good primary care, we can't get detect outbreaks, diagnose, treat, or vaccinate properly. Resilient populations means those that can withstand the shock of a pandemic because, for instance, chronic diseases are under control.

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Ian Explains: COVID Ain't Over | GZERO World

COVID ain't over

We're not done with the pandemic — yet.

In the US, infections are up five-fold from a year ago, although both hospitalizations are down.

Although COVID will likely become endemic sometime this year in some parts of the world, the virus will still rage on everywhere else.

China's zero-COVID strategy is having a tremendous cost, while barely 17.4% of Africans are vaccinated. That bodes well for new variants.

Meanwhile, rich countries keep hoarding jabs, now also against monkeypox. Did we not learn anything after more than two years?

Watch the GZERO World episode: How depoliticizing the US health response will save lives (COVID isn't over)

Chinese medical workers in protective suits wave at residents during a farewell ceremony in Changchun.

China Daily via REUTERS

China is in a tough spot

This week, the head of the World Health Organization warned that China’s “zero-COVID” policy, which has left tens of millions of people locked inside their homes, is not “sustainable.” The Omicron variant is too transmissible to effectively isolate, and the cost of China’s lockdown strategy, for the country’s economy and the mental health of its people, is too high, warns the WHO.

But … also this week, a report from the peer-reviewed international scientific journal Nature Medicine warned that lifting the zero-COVID policy without taking a series of specific steps to mitigate the damage could create a COVID emergency on a scale the world hasn’t yet seen. More than 1.5 million would die within six months, according to the study, and demand for intensive care would be nearly 16 times greater than China’s hospitals can handle.

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FILE PHOTO of a F-35C Lightning II, assigned to the Argonauts of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, launches off the flight deck of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) on Jan. 14, 2022.

U.S Navy/EYEPRESS

Hard Numbers: South China Sea jet search, US economy surges, Cuban protesters charged, Africa gets vaxxed

100 million: The US Navy is scrambling to find a $100 million F-35 stealth fighter jet that crashed and sank soon after taking off on Monday from an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. One expert described the Cold War-ish race to locate the remains — stocked with classified equipment — before the Chinese do as "basically The Hunt For Red October meets The Abyss."

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Laura Yasaitis: China’s Pandemic Playbook Will Fail With Omicron | Top Risks 2022 | GZERO Media

China’s pandemic playbook will fail with Omicron — Laura Yasaitis

China's zero-COVID strategy was a major success story in 2020-21. But it won't work with the new omicron variant, according to Eurasia Group healthcare consultant Laura Yasaitis.

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Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, attends a ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the killing of senior Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. attack, in Tehran, Iran January 3, 2022.

Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Iranian revenge for Suleimani, China back in Nicaragua, German bleats for vaccines, Turkish inflation explodes

2: On the second anniversary of the US assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad, Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi vowed to avenge his death unless former president Donald Trump and other American officials are tried in court. At the time, Tehran hit back by attacking US military bases in Iraq.

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US Donates Vaccines; Macron v Le Pen; EU Tourism | World In :60 | GZERO Media

US donates vaccines to India; Macron v Le Pen; EU tourism

Ian Bremmer answers this week's questions on the biggest stories in global politics:

The United States says it will now donate 60 million COVID doses. Who are they going to?

Well, they're not COVID doses, because we don't want to give people coronavirus. They're vaccines. It's AstraZeneca, which we don't need in the United States. We haven't even approved yet. They are somewhat less effective than Moderna and Pfizer, but they're damned effective and you should take them, and they're going almost exclusively to India. And that is fully appropriate because India, we know about 350,000 cases a day. In reality, if you look at the positivity rates and level of disclosure, it's probably five to 10x that. This is by far the largest epicenter of the coronavirus crisis to date in the world. But they're not going to be getting these doses until probably June. And meanwhile, they're under very serious trouble right now. And there's a lot of recrimination, central government, local governments. The US has been slow. We should've made this announcement frankly a month ago, but I'm glad we're doing it.

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